Interaction Images Promote Character Identification in Heavy Rain

Our phenomenological study of Heavy Rain reveals the pleasure found in the discovery of the game’s interaction schema and the immersion into each character that this somewhat paradoxically enables. This schema is presented through diegetic quick time events presented in a way that is faithful to the conditions the game characters find themselves in. The match between player action and character action contributes to the process of identification and serves to make the choices feel more real to the player. A new type of “interaction-image” is theorized as a hybrid of game action and controller options that invites the contemplation of the virtual, further reinforcing the process of identification with the game’s characters. The interaction-image evolves from Deleuze’s categorization of cinema images and their relationship to space and time.

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