We briefly describe a novel immersive environment—the interactive tent—and an artistic production within it, the Illusion of Being. In this production, immersants experience a vivid cycle of the elements in a way that depends on their bodily movements. This elemental “story” has four versions in all, with each created to have differential effects on sense of presence and of subjective duration, according to a theoretical model. The model proposes three orthogonal dimensions of experience: focus, the level of abstraction;locus, real versus virtual; andsensus, the overall level of attention of the observer. An experiment, conducted to assess the effects of the different versions, is reported. The results confirmed the model's prediction that rated presence is relatively high when experienced media is of a form that elicits predominantly concrete (perceptual) processing, and relatively low when the emphasis is on more-abstract (conceptual) processing. But the concrete-abstract dimension had no direct effect on judged duration, contrary to our predictions. However, some evidence suggests that judged presence and estimated duration were positively correlated for media categorized as virtual, but not for content captured from the real world.

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