Immersion. The term that VR brought front and center (but who knows where "front" or "center" is in VR?) that every brand, architect, and marketer thinks it needs to be chasing, but what is it?
Coming from theme park design decades ago, one interpretation of immersion was the ability to deliver fantasy, the difference between suspending disbelief and breaking the spell. Immersion in a persistent world that continually reinforces through details that seamlessly keep us believing. Any detail that distracts from what we've come to expect as that world's "logic," jerks us out of a blissful sense of escape, such as the sight of a teleprompter at Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. To that end, as a theme park designer you were constantly on the watch for things in your "land" that contradicted the logic. Immersion and the feeling it conveys is truly job one. It's the difference between a Disneyland and an amusement park.