Sunday, October 01, 2006

Thou Art You

For some reason I found myself looking at Wikipedia's
entry for Grammatical person, and there was a reference
to a "second-person shooter" videogame, which sounded

Why are people so comfortable with the first- and third-
person perspectives? I've been playing a lot of videogames
recently, and I thought it would be great if games broke
that tradition.

A bit of Googling produced this link:

It details a game created by Julian Oliver, in which your
character is viewed from the perspective of an enemy,
or "as others see us".

It seems like the early Doom games for the PC had a face
icon on-screen, that would show the player's deteriorating
health, almost like having a rear-view mirror
aimed at yourself. Most games have switched to
lifebars/gauges with maps and radar for extra fun.

Sometimes driving games have a button designated
to reverse the camera angle, to show the challengers
racing up behind you, like you're sitting in the back
of a classic station wagon. Try keeping it in this
perspective for awhile and steering--more of a
challenge! Is that a "second-person" scenario?

I also thought of situations in horror movies in which
the camera moves through a scene, behaving and responding
to an actor as if the camera is the creature/threat. Usually
the character is oblivious, until the POV is just inches away.
The audience prepares for the character's response to this
slinking, hovering presence, as if we are the about to be
set upon actress (usually) or actor--"Turn around!"

Perhaps that is not an exact example of the concept.

I wonder if anyone dreams in the second-perspective?

Anyone else have any examples?


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