The Players‘ Experience of Immersion in Persuasive Games

The Players‘ Experience of Immersion in Persuasive Games: A study of My Life as a Refugee and PeaceMaker

  • Manuela Hafner
  • Jeroen Jansz ERMeCC, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Keywords: Persuasive Games, Immersion, Involvement, Serious Games


Game studies has seen an increasing interest in serious games with a persuasive goal. Yet, empirical research about the impact of these persuasive games is still limited. This paper aims to advance the field by reporting on an explorative, qualitative study, investigating player experiences in My Life as a Refugee and PeaceMaker, games that address pressing socio-political issues. Theoretically, our research was based on immersion theory and Calleja’s account of player involvement. We conducted in-depth interviews with twelve participants. Our results showed that players experienced the two games in a similar way. With respect to immersion, our results highlight its different aspects by showing that the games’ narratives had the largest impact on feeling immersed. Our participants also experienced ludic, affective, and spatial immersion, which partly deepened their narrative immersion. Finally, we found that perceived realism, narrative depth, and identification contributed to the immersive experience. The major contribution of this paper is showing that immersion heightened participants’ susceptibility to persuasion within the gaming environment, while adding that the roles of emotion and identification in immersion warrant further research.


How to Cite
Hafner, M., & Jansz, J. (2018). The Players‘ Experience of Immersion in Persuasive Games. International Journal of Serious Games, 5(4), 63-79.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.