TGI – Total Gaming Immersion

I’m claiming this new buzz phrase for my own and I don’t care who’s said it before!

There have been a number of occasions where the effect of Total Gaming Immersion has taken me over. I remember playing Elite, way back when and losing hours as my mind became part of the universe of trading, fighting and mastering the skills of the manual docking maneuver.  Similarly I lost more than a few evenings – into early mornings with Star Wars: Galaxies (before it got crap) just being there, in that Universe. Lara’s adventures had a similar effect too, usually tempered at the point at which the game’s mechanics overcame my brain’s capacity to process at which point everything got switched off and I sought refuge in food and/or sleep!

Although I’ve enjoyed a lot of games over in recent times, I’ve not really experienced the TGI effect for a while until the other day when I was playing Overlord 2 on the PS3. I’d promised myself an hour of Domination – finding and subduing more of the citizens of Nordhaven – and harvesting life force through the extermination of those awful chittering little gnomes, (here’s another set Jake!) when it took control of me. I was in the game subjecting my will onto those citizens, sending my minions off to bonk gnomish skull watching my gold stack up so I could head back to the foundry and get my new weapon forged. It was 3 hours later when I was roused from this absorption by a combination of partner and hunger – both her’s and mine.

I can honestly say that I’d not have gone out and bought Overlord 2. I’d have picked up the box and read the back, I may even have carried it around with me for a couple of minutes, but I’d have put it back in favour of waiting for the NFS: Shift special edition or Forza 3 or Batman Arkham Asylum. Had I done so I would have missed out on TGI; that exhausting, exhilarating feeling one has when a game gets into your head.

The TGI effect - time just melting away...
The TGI effect – time just melting away…







2 responses to “TGI – Total Gaming Immersion”

  1. Ramsden avatar

    I last got that when I first discovered Football Manager, and played it for two straight days. Even when I was dragged away from the PC by concerned family and basic bodily needs, I was still muttering to myself about transfer windows and my strategy for winning the Norwegian Cup and getting my team into Europe for a week.

    It seems to happen less and less often as the years have gone on. Other games that have done it include Anno 1602, TIE Fighter, Elite, Populous, Freelancer, and especially the original X-COM. Either I’m just getting old, or games don’t have the same power to consume you as they used to.

  2. MarkuzR avatar

    I lost several years playing Mercenary, Elite and UFO: Enemy Unknown… years that I never want back, because they were spent with some of the greatest games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.

    Repetition is a strange thing for me though, I would happily play Return Of The Jedi or Pacman in the arcades for hours, even though it was really the same thing over and over again. May have been massive repetition, but it was still gooooood!!

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