There is one of those must-read books recently published by MIT Press called In-Game: From Immersion to Incorporation by Gordon Calleja. It looks fascinating and well worth the read for a sophisticated and thus scholarly discourse upon the gaming experience. It does carry a hefty price tag for a hardcover at $30.00 but I personally think it is well worth it. There needs to be more of a concentration between academic studies of gaming and development of gaming. If these two can coincide with a deep philosophical-theoretical understanding of immersion or incorporation as Calleja puts it, the better the industry will recognize the implications of what they do and how they do it, and most importantly why gamers get pissed.
Aside from enabling us to transcend the practical limitations of our environment, digital games became popular because they transported our imaginations to the places represented on the screen. We no longer had to imagine landscapes of forests and mountains to roam in; they were right there in front of us.
Ahh yes, the power and ramifications of a screen-culture.