Author Topic: What breaks your immersion?  (Read 3795 times)

What breaks your immersion?
« on: 25 Aug 2017, 22:34 »
I thought about starting a discussion on what breaks the immersion in movies, books, adventure games,
these sort of things that makes you groan "No way, that isn't how it works!" whenever you see that
thing pop up in a work of fiction.

For example, one thing I've noticed in a lot of fantasy and historical movies is when we are told that the heroes are travelling through a wild forest,
yet all the trees are exactly the same size and the same species, and planted in square formations, so it's obviously a modern planted forest.
Once I've seen it, I can't unsee it! Just compare the images below:

Glenjamin

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #1 on: 25 Aug 2017, 23:24 »
For me the worst thing is when movies and games use misinformation/disproved theories in their stories

e.g There was that movie called "Lucy" that used that "We only use 25% of our brain" meme. Are you kidding me? Yeah I guess those super powers not only evolved into humans but also decided to be dormant for no reason.

Another thing that gets me is when two characters meet for the first time and then IMMEDIATELY after become love interests even though they've shared 2 lines of dialogue.

kconan

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #2 on: 26 Aug 2017, 04:51 »
  As you mention, repetitive environments and/or objects are a big one.  I also agree with Glenjamin that the "meet cute and instabang" is getting old in games.  Other big ones for me are fake doors, obstacles that aren't really that obstructing preventing me from going somewhere, and overly limited conversational choices when talking with characters.

Stupot

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #3 on: 26 Aug 2017, 07:20 »
I've become quite adept at spotting the formula used in TV shows and it's made some types of show hard to watch. Every episode of Castle (for instance) is exactly the same pattern but with s different crime and different supporting actors. All bookended by a home scene with the guy's family, just to give the illusion of progress through time between episodes. I only ever watch it now to prove myself right.

Creamy

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #4 on: 26 Aug 2017, 08:06 »
Yes, that's a reason why I have a hard time following criminal investigation series (CSI, Mentalist...) It gets old quickly.

To get back to adventure games, I don't like when games ask people to look for their own keys (to get out of your house/ start your car). Everybody can lose their keys from time to time. However I'm reminded that I'm not the hero since I don't know where he usually puts his keys.
« Last Edit: 26 Aug 2017, 08:31 by Creamy »
 

Mandle

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #5 on: 26 Aug 2017, 10:20 »
Achievement notices in adventure games for linear plot moments...

Right when you are supposed to feel great about besting a hard puzzle and waiting to be drawn further into the story: That magical little popup in the bottom right corner shows up to remind you that you are actually just playing a game and you just earned an achievement that every single other player also got...

Makes me feel so special! >:(

Danvzare

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #6 on: 26 Aug 2017, 11:13 »
Something that annoys me, is when cars explode when being shot at. Since they don't do that in real life. I'm ok with it when the film (or game) is supposed to be over-the-top. But when it's supposed to be realistic, it puts me off.

To get back to adventure games, I don't like when games ask people to look for their own keys (to get out of your house/ start your car). Everybody can lose their keys from time to time. However I'm reminded that I'm not the hero since I don't know where he usually puts his keys.
What if it was used as a joke?
Such as being placed in a very obvious and easy to find place, the character quickly being classified as being forgetful, and the possibility to go off on a long red herring puzzle sequence just to get the keys if you didn't pick them up?

Achievement notices in adventure games for linear plot moments...

Right when you are supposed to feel great about besting a hard puzzle and waiting to be drawn further into the story: That magical little popup in the bottom right corner shows up to remind you that you are actually just playing a game and you just earned an achievement that every single other player also got...

Makes me feel so special! >:(
Same here. (nod)

Snarky

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #7 on: 26 Aug 2017, 11:40 »
For me the worst thing is when movies and games use misinformation/disproved theories in their stories

e.g There was that movie called "Lucy" that used that "We only use 25% of our brain" meme. Are you kidding me?

Yes, they are kidding you – it's a joke. (Also, it's 10%.)

Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #8 on: 26 Aug 2017, 12:01 »
Defibrillators.

I hate hate hate hate hate when people use defibrillators to restart the heart.
Defibrillators stop the heart, and it's the CPR the one you use to restart them.

So every time I see someone in a movie using a defibrillator (or sometimes any type of electricity) all I can think is "Great, now you made sure his heart stopped for good" while they electrocute the body over and over again until it magically starts the heart by itself.

Cl...

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #9 on: 26 Aug 2017, 12:13 »
If anyone here hasn't heard of it yet, go to tvtropes.org and find even more pet peeves.

CaesarCub: "Television is trying to kill us"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/JustForFun/TelevisionIsTryingToKillUs

Danvzare: "Every car is a Pinto"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EveryCarIsAPinto

Creamy and Stupot+: "Strictly formula"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrictlyFormula

kconan: "Cut and paste environments"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CutAndPasteEnvironments

Glenjamin: "Science marches on"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ScienceMarchesOn

Be aware, Tvtropes can make you binge read!

Mandle

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #10 on: 26 Aug 2017, 12:57 »
(Also, it's 10%.)

Which comes, I believe, from some very early brain-scan technology tests where they discovered that we only use about 10% of our brain at any given time under normal circumstances.

But it's a different 10% on average and keeps shifting to all parts of the brain depending on what is needed at the time.

The popular media reported this as meaning that the human brain has an unused 90% and who knows what kind of extra abilities we could (gasp) possess if we could only tap into that hidden 90%!!!

And popular fiction ran with the idea (and who wouldn't??? It's an awesome jumpoff point into a story!!!) until we had seen it so many times in fiction that we took it as fact...

It's just not true though... Well... For you guys at least... ;)

Snarky

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #11 on: 26 Aug 2017, 16:10 »
I don't think I've ever actually seen it featured in a piece of fiction before Lucy; AFAIK it was mostly just floating around as a meme, an obviously wrong idea people would mindlessly repeat – like those claiming that before antibiotics were developed, you died if you just got a scratch – anyone who's ever been around kids for even a short time (or been a child themselves) should be able to immediately spot the flaw in that factoid.

What breaks my immersion in adventure games is when dialogue/conversation options don't update to reflect things that have happened in the game. Like, if you've discovered in the course of the game that your neighbor is a serial killer and have had him arrested, the next time you talk to your doorman, that topic might come up, maybe?

Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #12 on: 26 Aug 2017, 18:10 »
If anyone here hasn't heard of it yet, go to tvtropes.org and find even more pet peeves.
...
Be aware, Tvtropes can make you binge read!
I've read a lot on Tvtropes myself, and part of that is what gave me the idea to start this thread. (roll)
What breaks my immersion in adventure games is when dialogue/conversation options don't update to reflect things that have happened in the game. Like, if you've discovered in the course of the game that your neighbor is a serial killer and have had him arrested, the next time you talk to your doorman, that topic might come up, maybe?
Yes, that can lead to some pretty silly situations in the game. It reminds me about a similar problem I had with Assassin's creed 3, a sandbox game set during the american revolution, during the main missions you fight to expel the redcoats from the colonies, and after the player completes the story missions, the revolution is over and all the British soldiers that patrol the map are replaced with american militiamen to show that the British are gone and America is independent now.

But there are many optional sidequests where the player is supposed to defend civilian npc:s from redcoat soldiers oppressing them in various ways, and if the player hasn't completed them before completing the main story,
all the British forces are now replaced with american soldiers doing exactly the same thing, unintentionally evoking this before/after gag in Tintin and the Picaros, wherein Tintin topples a dictatorship in order to install a new and better leader:

Both Assassins Creed 3 and Tintin end with a big revolution that ultimately makes no difference for the people, only the flags and uniforms have changed,
except that in Tintin it was an intentional satire of the nature of dictatorships and in Assassins Creed it was lazy programming.

A similar immersion breaker occurs in RPGs when you start as a nobody and work your way to the top, and even after saving the kingdom, getting knighted and hoarding a pile of riches, people still approach the hero to ask them to collect pie ingredients or kill rats in their basement or what not. Because of course someone in gold armor with a truck-sized sword on their back is the type of person you'd ask for help with your grocery shopping.

Creamy

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #13 on: 26 Aug 2017, 18:49 »
Quote
Quote
Quote from: Creamy on Today at 08:06
To get back to adventure games, I don't like when games ask people to look for their own keys (to get out of your house/ start your car). Everybody can lose their keys from time to time. However I'm reminded that I'm not the hero since I don't know where he usually puts his keys.

What if it was used as a joke?
Such as being placed in a very obvious and easy to find place, the character quickly being classified as being forgetful, and the possibility to go off on a long red herring puzzle sequence just to get the keys if you didn't pick them up?

It shouldn't be too long IMO. And never without a reason.

A good example is the beginning of Resonance, when Ed is looking for his phone. I can overlook because:
1) He looks like he didn't get much sleep.
2) you can find the phone in a matter of seconds with the ring.

Done poorly, it's just a mundane task turned into an unfair quest.

Quote
even after saving the kingdom, getting knighted and hoarding a pile of riches, people still approach the hero to ask them to collect pie ingredients or kill rats in their basement or what not.
That's because you didn't improve your charisma stats ;)
« Last Edit: 26 Aug 2017, 18:57 by Creamy »
 

Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #14 on: 26 Aug 2017, 19:47 »
The Rambo thing (I'm sure there's some witty term for it on TV Tropes), where "One Man" (/movie voice) with basketball-sized biceps and imbued with mystical powers of invincibility and The M16 Of Unreloading, takes on an infinite number of well-armed, well-trained paramilitary goons, Arabic terrorists, "African" gun runners, North Koreans, Russian ex-KGB, Mexican Drug Dealers, etc. etc. etc. receiving only a single stray bullet wound, which is a cheap ploy to get Swedish Ass Model clone X to give him treatment, followed shortly by teh Sexual Healings, and then go on to destroy King Cobra / Hitler 2.0 / etc. with a kamikaze helicopter or something.

This is also a reason why I have a hard time playing FPS, RPG, virtually any game that involves one character or a party, killing a whole lot of stuff, and still being immersed. It's why I switched to AGS in particular, and point-and-click in general.

I designed Neofeud specifically so that the main character, who is a wanna-be Bruce Willis, gets himself killed virtually every time he ever tries to go full-Expendables.  In fact, there's an achievement in Neofeud, called "Sylvester Warzennegar". ;)

I should add, I don't mind this sort of thing at all in de-immersive post-modern films like Kung Fury, and in fact expect and love the way it satirizes and plays with the tropes.
« Last Edit: 26 Aug 2017, 19:51 by SilverSpook »

AnasAbdin

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #15 on: 26 Aug 2017, 21:15 »
Clichés that serve a specific agenda against another debating one. Whether I'm with or against it, when the movie or the game adopts one, it doesn't only break my immersion but it turns me off to the point where I cannot keep watching/playing (or at least keep thinking about it until the end).

Technically speaking, the misuse or abuse of sound effects can kill the mood instantly.

Also this..

Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #16 on: 26 Aug 2017, 21:43 »
While I personally have some suspension of disbelief for the "one man army trope" if it's done in an intentionally fun and over the top way, one action trope that annoys me is the Designated Girl Fight, whenever several heroes and villains face off, the one girl on the hero team always only fights the one girl on the evil side, and in some bad cases the evil girl only exist so that the token girl on the team will have someone to fight. But it's not just women, I have also seen similar scenes when two opposing sides both have token black guys. It's just plain ridiculous to think that people actually in a real fight would sort themselves out so that everyone fights their counterpart with the same sex/race/background.

Mandle

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #17 on: 27 Aug 2017, 03:53 »
Also this..

OMG! That was awesome!

Zoomify!

Cl...

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Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #18 on: 27 Aug 2017, 05:41 »
I can forgive works of fiction quite a lot because I know how hard they are to make. My immersion breaker could be called "escapism blocker", since I get thrown out of the story if something reminds me of my life outside the screen, mostly in a bad way.

SilverSpook, try this: "Conservation of ninjutsu"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ConservationOfNinjutsu

Blondbraid, these days anyone will ALWAYS cry "sexism/racism/whateverism" (not you), so it's a situation of "damned if you do, damned if you don't".

Re: What breaks your immersion?
« Reply #19 on: 27 Aug 2017, 12:13 »
Blondbraid, these days anyone will ALWAYS cry "sexism/racism/whateverism" (not you), so it's a situation of "damned if you do, damned if you don't".
I know, but I've never seen any actual feminist complain about a male and female character facing off in a fair fight, and likewise, I don't think anyone would complain about a similar situation with two characters from different races.
Instead, this is an old trope from when most writers considered women to be the weaker/fairer sex who wouldn't be able to fight a real man, and then it stuck because they thought it unfair to hit a lady.
Now, I don't think you should hit anyone who's weak and cannot defend themselves, but that could be applied to men and women alike.