Anthony Martin & Lloyd Orr

"Immersion in Virtual Environments"

GENERAL – what is detailed below is often critical, but that is the nature of feedback on an academic paper; this should not detract from the strengths and breadth of the piece you have presented; this shows excellent thinking and presentation overall; the referencing is weak, but it always is for newbies to academic writing; but overall it bodes very well for moving on into honours level work next year.

GRADE – excellent A (72%)

general layout - looks neat in two columns; try and make the paragraphs shorter by simply pressing a few returns at end of sentences; abstract is a bit short, 200-300 words is more usual; I prefer no to see such statements as 'seems almost endless' as this has no true meaning, the art of academic writing is in its precision;

introduction – 'fully immersed' is not possible; 'again and again' is poetic hyperbole, say 'many times';

conclusions – I feel you ran out of steam here; it can be hard to summarise something so big, but try not to use a word like 'simply' with something that you have clearly showed is not simple.

flow - 'There is also room in these virtual worlds for massive expansion at minimal cost, allowing the business to grow and thrive' is getting very journalistic (I'll not repeat this, but take the piece from now on as one that is written as well-informed trade journal piece rather than a pure academic paper); is WoW immersive? It is if you say so, for there is no absolute definition for 'immersion'; a good summary of Second Life; why does IBM feel the need to promote Second Life? There must be money in it for them; I'm not sure you can prove or state that an immersive world is 'immensely effective' at making money; call me Dr Picky, but here he isn't 'President' Obama, just Mr Obama, and before he was elected he was just Mr Obama there too – precision is the power of academic writing; I loved text MUDs!, they were as immersive as an excellent book; the part on 'immersion & budget' loses some flow, it starts by discussing if anyone can afford to create a MMO then goes on to talk how anyone can use a cheap MMO; the discussion on the components of a game are strongly put and also show how it can be hard to separate out 'immersion' from what is more general about 'gameplay'; the bit on player-driven-story opens up the limitations of where we stand, as they involve aspects of Psychology, Sociology, etc. that are outwith our knowledge bounds (its what makes games fascinating to me as an academic);

support - the layout is rather non-standard, best to put in author surname order; the issue of click-thrus of URLs is a difficult one as many papers are now digital and so click-thrus are possible, however, I prefer URLs given as pure text (no blue, underline, etc.); the figure on page 3 should be numbered, named and given a supporting reference (it sounds odd that Mr McCain was shown this);