A Grounded Analysis of Player-Described Board Game Immersion

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Publication details

Title of host publicationProceedings of ACM CHI Play 2020
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Aug 2020
DatePublished (current) - 2 Nov 2020
Number of pages11
Original languageEnglish


Substantial research has explored the experience of immersion in digital games, but it is unclear whether this phenomenon extends to other game genres such as board games.
Immersion is a concept widely discussed in the board game
community by both developers and players and yet there is
relatively little research in the area. This paper presents a
grounded theory analysis of board game players’ online discussions of immersion. This data is augmented by interviews
with five board game players describing their experiences
of immersion. The resultant analysis highlights that board
game players discuss immersion in terms of both engrossment in the challenge of the game, and submergence within
the game world the board game creates. We also focus on
elements of game play which players reported in helping
and hindering their immersion; importantly these elements
do not always come from the game itself. We conclude that
board game immersion shares similarities with the literature
on immersion in digital games, despite the lack of multimedia

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