First-person Point of View

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The game presents the world to the player as if the player is looking through the eyes of an in-game avatar. Under normal play circumstances, the player doesn't see this avatar, but receives information on the state of the game world and its residents through that unseen, implied avatar. This perspective often appears in games where the player is led to identify with a specific game entity, specifically, the character or entity in whose head the player resides. To this end, a first person camera view sometimes appears in games that use a predominantly second-person perspective, as a means of giving the player the occasional opportunity to see the game world "through the entity's own eyes."

See also Locus of Manipulation, Single Entity Manipulation

Strong example

In Halo 2, you look directly through your characters helmet. This includes seeing ammo, life, and grenade indicators. This is a strong example of First-person Point of View because their are only three occasions when you are not looking through your characters skull. The three occasions are when you die, when you man a turret, or when you are driving a vehicle. However, about 95% of the game is played through the first person mode where you can see your arms holding a gun, and your feet if you look down. Also, when you zoom in with a Sniper Rifle, you look through the scope of the weapon, which adds to this perspective.

Strong example

Unreal Tournament 2003 [Bleszinski, 2002] places the player view "within the head" of a player controlled entity. The player sees as this entity, his view of the game world moving with the entity's head.

Strong example

Rainbow six, the player is able to see in front of him but not behind without turning. The players view is restricted to the front where the character's eyes are looking.

Strong example

In Half-Life, your view is restricted to that of what you would see through the eyes of the main character, Gordon Freeman. You cannot escape what the game dictates as Gordon's peripheral vision.

Weak example

Black & White [Molyneux, 2001] depicts the game action from a first person god view. This perspective visually resembles a Third person perspective, but the hand has properties beyond those of a simple cursor. It acts as a part of the player avatar's body. It can be used to perform specific interactions with game characters and objects as a hand rather than as a cursor. For example, rather than simply selecting objects, players can use the hand to pick them up. Black and White's movement mechanics also reinforce the sense of divine embodiment by having players move themselves about the world by grasping hold of the landscape and pulling their implied divine mass through the game space.





Bleszinski, C. (2002). Unreal Tournament 2003. Infogrames, windows edition.

Molyneux, P. (2001). Black & White. Electronic Arts, windows edition.