Being there: the challenges of porting the magical experience of Skyrim to virtual reality
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Virtual reality gaming experiences are without doubt unlike their traditional counterparts, as they offer motion control and a technical immersive head-mounted display. Porting, i.e. translating, a traditional video game to virtual reality does therefore not come without any challenges. However, the exact differences between both experiences and the effects of porting on the player experience are unknown. Virtual reality seems especially underdeveloped in this discussion. This study will therefore map the challenges of porting a traditional video game to virtual reality to understand the change in game-related features and the influence they may have on the player experience. Using Skyrim as case study, this thesis critically compares the differences between the traditional and virtual reality game to discover changes in game-related features. These changes are then situated in a theoretical discourse to understand the influence they may hold on the player experience. The following concepts are explored: mapping, kinaesthetic-, aesthetic, and ludic pleasure, gameworld as interface, and player-avatar relation, using theories from Klevjer (2006; 2012), Nitsche (2008), Juul (2010), Calleja (2011), and Jørgensen (2013). This study believes that the player experience is challenged when a traditional video game, such as Skyrim, is ported to virtual reality, because game- related features and gameplay change with the Twin Motion controllers and head-mounted display. As a result, this study concludes that virtual reality gaming should be explored in various ways to understand its features, possibilities, limitations for an optimal experience.