Sometimes, it's funny how things work. Most game development studios today aspire to be able to make players feel like they're in the game, rather than simply playing it. Developers go to great lengths to make good on their promises of "immersion" and "realism," both terms usually used as an indicator of how effectively the art and narrative invoke a sense of escapism in the player.
While there are certainly other ways of making a player feel more involved in a game, these days, immersion is commonly defined by how effectively the script and the artwork can make you believe in the world your character inhabits. This is upheld as the mantra of modern game design, and very rarely does one come across a game where the developers go out of their way to constantly remind you that you're playing a game, as opposed to being in one. Strangely enough, this exactly what Retro Studios have done with Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and the end result is nothing short of fascinating.