We are created with a deep, instinctive drive to belong, to love and to be loved.

Connecting is a fundamental human need. It is so ingrained in us, we make the decision to like or reject someone in a matter of seconds. It’s a survival mechanism. We are hardwired to do that.

To our instincts, there is no line between ‘real world’ and ‘immersive entertainment’. In a theme park, guests suddenly find themselves in an unfamiliar environment, not really knowing what to expect. The place has loud noises, new smells. They are thrust into large crowds of unknown people and unusual creatures with new, strange rules for behaving.

The ‘real world’ rules apply. They don’t realize it, but guests in an immersive environment are operating from their instinctive drives. They want the adventure of exploring this new world. At the same time, they need to feel safe and comfortable in this new place. Two of their most basic human needs are waiting to be met. They need someone who will support and encourage them.

You are one who does that. You make that connection. And you make it seem as if the character is doing it.

As an interactive character, you guide the guest as they experience the environment. You use your character and story to set them up for their adventure in your world. You help them make new discoveries. You lead them to make adjustments so their time is more involving and enjoyable. You demonstrate care for them. You connect with them and create a relationship that makes them feel they belong. You answer that drive to belong, to be cared for.

To the guest, they’ve joined a living, thinking being inside a whole new world.

Following along in this blog, you’ve seen how to do your research and developed The Why for your character. You can draw from a vital, active history and emotional drives (that support the IP). You look at the guest differently – not as an audience for you to entertain, but as a full partner in each experience. You are committed to keeping your attention outside yourself. Instead, you focus on the guest so you can play each moment as it comes.

You are ready to make those all important connections.

Next up: How Connections Are Made

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