Last night's The Big Bang Theory was only 18 minutes and 34 seconds long. That seems ridiculous.

I still don't understand why Reddit hates laugh tracks so much.

My problem with it is it can make an otherwise funny joke, seem less funny. It's a means of "sweetening" a joke and manipulating the home viewer into thinking that a joke is funnier than it actually is. I mean, it's scientifically proven that our brains react positively when we hear laughter and to use a laugh track to make, perhaps even a bad joke, incrementally funnier, comes off as lazy.

If someone says something funny in real life, and you start laughing, other people are more likely to join in. If you are the only one laughing and nobody else joins in, people will look at you like an idiot.

I don't really care if I look like an idiot for laughing at something and it's not really the point. It's genuine laughter, whether I look like an idiot or not. A laugh track is some editor sitting in the cutting board room, supplanting laughter in certain parts of the production to encourage the home viewer to laugh.

If you are watching a show alone, and a laugh track plays, you are more likely to - at the very least - smile and enjoy the moment.

No, I've come to realize I'm more likely to ponder why they felt it necessary to force laughter on a joke that didn't need it. I mean, sometimes the joke is just funny on its own and gets a smile out of me and that's great but hearing forced laughter could ruin the moment.

PS: How many of you play horror based video games? And how many of you actually get scared from those games? Immersion matters.

I find it very interesting that you're using this analogy. Horror, whether in video games, TV, film or literature, is great when its atmospherical and convincing. Also, I don't choose to be immersed in something. Being truly immersed in something is when there are elements in the piece of media that make me truly forget that I'm external from the piece of media.

If I'm reading a book, I'm not sitting there telling myself "I WILL BE IMMERSED NOW!", instead the author has described the setting and the characters such that it's all my mind is thinking about and I'm in their world.

In a video game, I find myself immersed when I have complete control or as designers like to call it, a game that gives players a good sense of "player agency". That sense that my actions matter, that I'm in a living breathing world. I'm not choosing to be immersed, I am immersed because of what the game designers are communicating through the game. VR seems to be taking that a step further by allowing the video game to communicate with our most primal visual senses, which is very exciting, but it's not like I sit there with a VR headset and tell myself "I'M GOING TO BE IMMERSED NOW!" and that's what's driving the experience. Instead, it's putting that headset on, noticing the screen moves in accordance to how my head moves, and it's literally convincing my brain that I'm in the game.

And finally, with film or TV, I find I'm typically immersed when I forget that there's a script, I forget that there's a director/writer pulling the strings, I forget that these characters are played by actors with a salary and he's only putting on a funny voice because it's his job.

/r/television Thread Parent