A Model of Immersion to Guide the Design of Serious Games

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Education and Arts


Communications and Arts, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




This article was originally published as: McMahon, M. T., & Ojeda, C. M. (2008). A model of immersion to guide the design of serious games. Proceedings of Elearn 2008 . (pp. 1833-1842). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Original article available here


One of the driving forces behind the design and implementation of serious games is the claim that games have the potential to make learning more engaging than traditional e-learning or classroom-based activities. However, in order to develop engaging products an understanding of the factors inherent in the design of effective games is required. This paper proposes a model of immersion that can be used to guide the design of serious games. The model identifies key motivational factors for e-learning and then explores ways in which these can be enhanced through the integration of gameplay and narrative techniques. The model reconciles both cognitive and affective dimensions of immersion, identifying flow and the suspension of disbelief as key factors in the development of the sense of altered time and loss of self-consciousness inherent in immersion.