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date: 30 March 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Virtual worlds are enabling experiences that were not previously available through other media. One such experience is the potential to have a sense of inhabiting the simulated spaces they offer, not just through the use of the player’s imaginative faculty, but also through the cybernetic circuit between player and machine. This phenomenon has been described by the terms “presence” and “immersion.” Although the two terms are used in various fields and have been discussed for three decades, there seems to be a lack of consensus as to what either of them actually refers to. This chapter argues for a reconceptualization of the phenomenon of virtual-world habitation by replacing the metaphors of presence and immersion with the notion of incorporation: an experiential phenomenon that accounts for the simultaneous assimilation into consciousness of the virtual world and the systemic acknowledgement of the player’s location and existence therein.

Keywords: immersion, presence, incorporation, digital games, involvement

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