Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture








I walk into the room and the smell of burning wood hits me immediately. The warmth from the fireplace grows as I step nearer to it. The fire needs to heat the little cottage through the night so I add a log to the fire. There are a few sparks and embers. I throw a bigger log onto the fire and it drops with a thud. Again, there are barely any sparks or embers. The heat and the smell stay the same. They don’t change and I do not become habituated to it. Rather, they are just a steady stream, so I take off my VR headset and give my recommendations to the team programming the gamified world of the virtual museum of the future (one depicting an ancient Turkish settlement, being built now at the institution where one of us works). As much as this technological world seems almost too futuristic, it actually retrieves obsolete items from the past—a heater, a piece of wood, and a spray bottle doing double duty of mist and scent—in keeping with McLuhan’s (1973) insights regarding media that provide strong participation goals and the rubric for achieving them. Moreover, the VR world extends the progression of game AI that occasioned the love-hate relationship with the “walking sim.” The stronger the AI, the more clearly defined the rubric for participation. In the VR interactive museum the designers want people to be able to ‘play’ with haptic devices—like the smell, smoke, and heat generators—in order to heighten not only the immersion but also the perception of being there, or what Bolter and Grusin (2000) call “immediacy” (p. 5).


Copyright © by Marc Ouellette and Steven Conway

Manuscripts published with Eludamos are open access in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Original Publication Citation

Ouellette, M., & Conway, S. (2020). A feel for the game: AI, computer games and perceiving perception. Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture, 10(1), 9-25.