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Widescreen-Gaming and Immersiveness PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lutzifer   
Mittwoch, 05 Dezember 2007
There are alot of factors for immersiveness in movies and games, but i found the easiest way to become soaked into the experience is by adjusting the distance to the screen. In a movie theatre the best possible place for maximum immersiveness is usually the middle-seats in the middle rows. That is because the visual field usually is congruent with the area of the screen at those places, so the experience you see doesnt differ from the natural viewing experience. If you sit too near to the screen the immersiveness is reduced because your eyes have to move much more to catch everything and alot of fine detail is lost because of that. Vice versa you ll reduce your viewing pleasure by sitting to far away from the screen, because it gets easier for the brain to see the screen / the tv as an object of projection and the presented material becomes less real...
Image
the oval shaped binoccular visual field

The binoccular visual field is oval in shape (see picture) which corresponds best with widescreen-resolutions of cinemas and newer tvs and monitors. I recently bought a 22" widescreen LCD monitor and have done some gaming on it and i have to say, that the subjective gain in immersiveness is huge. Nearly as much of a step when i went from a mono TV to a stereo one years ago. Working on a widescreen-monitor is a different issue though, but from the little experience i have had in the last days with gaming on the new monitor i can whole-heartedly recommend a switch to widescreen-gaming to everyone. I m not sure why the industry hasn't had widescreen displays for earlier, but i guess LCD-technology and the ever rising sales of DVDs are a big reason for the switch in display sizing.

A good starting-point for getting the most out of your new setup is the widescreen gaming forum, which offers a list of wd-enabled games and solutions for non-wd games. Many games that have widescreen modes have also different ways of rendering the field-of-view also. A bigger FOV usually relates to more peripheral information, which i generally like more, but might give sometimes a kind of fish-eye view effect.
It's also important to note, that not all LCD-monitors scale well with with lower resolution and changed aspect-ratios, so you should definitly check out hardware reviews focussed on gaming-performance before buying a new monitor.

Another thing that imho adds greatly to immersiveness for movies and games is playing / watching when you 're sleepy. In my experience it makes subliminal cues and shock-effects much more potent as the brain is more prone to evaluate the things on an emotional level, so you cant consciously build up barriers against them and cant predict shocking events as well. This works especially well with horror-themed games and movies, but dont overdo it or else you wont be able to sleep afterwards (you have been warned) :D



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Last Updated ( Mittwoch, 05 Dezember 2007 )
 
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There seems to be yet another contestant in the ring for the big video-game-violence debate. This time it's a harvard study, that is rather positive towards what conservatives and others seem to consider the scourge of the new millenium. I havent read the study yet, but from the title and the release-date alone, i d rather be sceptical, as it looks like they are trying to jump on the bandwagon of the GTA IV release hype. Since i m also very sceptical about any study that seems to be politically motivated and / or which use uni-causal reductionist arguments to blame video-games for the evils of the world, i m also pretty interested to read it. The excerpts presented on their website are nice to read and seem to be garnered towards practical parenting advice, and seem to hit the right chords imho. So, if you are a worried mother or father and dont want to wade through all the FUD that is generated by people with political agendas and / or bad research papers, give this a shot. Or even better, just try to play some games with your kids and talk about them and the way your kids actually feel about playing them. Because gaming is a great social experience and everybody benefits from getting a little perspective when otherwise being left alone with emotionally challenging material. So, no matter if you re playing it safe (*g*) and getting some professional advice from a book like this one, or if you re more inclined to try to understand your children on your own, dont forget to have some fun by playing some games with the kids while doing it ;)