Two kinds of immersion

There are many movies that I love, and I get lost in their stories. Yet on a physical level I am just sitting in a chair watching a flickering rectangle.

I have never experienced a work of virtual reality that was able to transport me, on a psychological level, the way a good movie can. I can be transported physically by VR, and feel as though my body has been to another world, but on an emotional level nothing has spoken deeply to me.

I wonder whether this is just because the medium is new, or whether there is something fundamental going on here. Is it possible that the rectangle around the frame of the film is part of the process of psychological immersion and emotional engagement?

If so, this would be an irony indeed. What if it turns out that, on an emotional level, we can only experience true immersion when we are not actually immersed?

Happy Halloween everyone!

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