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Presence: Is it just pretending?

Turner, Phil


Phil Turner


Our sense of presence in the real world helps regulate our behaviour within it by telling us about the status and effectiveness of our actions. As such, this ability offers us practical advantages in dealing effectively with the world. It is also an automatic or intuitive response to where and how we find ourselves in that it does not require conscious thought or deliberation. In contrast, the experience of presence or immersion in a movie, game or virtual environment is not automatic but is the product of our deliberate engagement with it, an engagement which first requires a disengagement or decoupling with the real world. Of course, we regularly decouple from the real world and embrace other, possible worlds every time we daydream, or engage in creative problem solving or, most importantly, for the purposes of this discussion, when we make-believe. We propose that make-believe is a plausible psychological mechanism which underpins the experience of mediated presence.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 8, 2015
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jul 26, 2016
Print ISSN 0951-5666
Electronic ISSN 1435-5655
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 2
Pages 147-156
Keywords Presence; Pretending; Make-believe; Engagement; Immersion
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jul 26, 2016


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