From ordering food to chatting to colleagues, to scrolling through social media accounts and sending emails, many of us use tech daily.
Due to its progressive popularity, we’re privy to a wide range of gadgets and hardware, all of which allow us to use technology freely, from where we want, when we want. However, it’s only in recent years that developers, designers and researchers have started to think about how immersive tech can be used to heighten our health and wellbeing.
Explaining immersive tech and wellbeing
For decades, the expression ‘immersion’ has been debated and adopted by researchers in the technology field. What does this term mean? Simplified, immersion is the concept of entering a simulated environment. From casino games to video games, to online literature, virtual reality gallery tours and cinema, many avenues are embracing immersive technology today.
Interpreting immersion is key to us mastering the relationship between this virtual environment and the user. Some industries, particularly the gaming sector, see immersion in different lights, such as cognitive immersion, sensory-motoric immersion, spatial and emotional immersion. The majority of video and casino game developers embracing this technology uses three key components: challenge-bases, sensory, and imaginative.
These three areas of immersion allow modern-day computer displays to create an all-inclusive, vivid, engaging illusion – allowing human participants to enter into a virtual reality or live environment that takes players out of their traditional spaces. Whether playing casino games on the go, or from their own homes, immersive gaming experiences promote a less psychological process and a more physical process.
The likes of live play casinos trick our senses and bodies into thinking we’re playing in a physical venue, sat opposite the croupier and players, being able to interact with both in real-time. This feeling of being present is known as virtual lucidity. A great resource for finding live casino options is Gamble.xyz, a site that reviews and compares online casinos. Check out their list of the best blackjack sites online, if you’re looking to try your luck at the blackjack tables.
These interactions support both wellbeing and positive human functioning. How? By increasing the interaction between a system and user, allowing for a more enjoyable, efficient experience. On top of enabling an entertaining experience, playing games online has also been proven to lower stress levels and increase motivation, by allowing us to take a well-deserved break from routine life.
Interactive, immersive experiences can assist people on a social, hedonic and eudaemonic level, which results in heightened interpersonal skills.
There are many elements to successful immersive technology and many areas this tech is being used today, including to heighten breath awareness, improve focus and concentration levels, encourage emotional expression and incite a sense of belonging. Other elements include an exploration between mental and physical states through mind-body dialogues, movements and playfulness. Feedback on performance is also a key factor to take into consideration, especially in the world of gaming. Players who have an existing score to beat or can play against other gamers, tend to show more interest in the game itself, especially if there is a prize at stake. These experiences also involve mindfulness meditation. How? By encouraging users embracing immersive tech to pay attention, in the present moment, on purpose. Games often spur this focus via a guided narration.
Perhaps the most important factor, when understanding the impact immersive tech has on our wellbeing, is the social aspect. Being able to interact with other like-minded individuals at the same time (in real-time) either via video or an avatar, improves physical movement, biofeedback, engagement and ultimately, enjoyment.