First-Person Perspective: Definition, History, and Further Reading

First-person perspective (FPP) is an approach to narrative storytelling in which the protagonist’s point of view and experiences are presented as clearly as possible. This technique is used to draw the reader into the protagonist’s thoughts and emotions, making the story more immersive and engaging. FPP can be seen in literature, film, and video games, among other mediums.

The history of FPP dates back to Homer’s Odyssey, where the reader is given insight into the thoughts and feelings of Odysseus, the protagonist. Over time, authors, filmmakers, and game designers have continued to use FPP to draw the audience into the protagonist’s story. Recent examples of FPP can be seen in the film Inside Out, which follows the emotions of the protagonist, Riley, and the video game Firewatch, which follows the story of a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness.

When correctly implemented, FPP can be an effective tool for creating immersive, engaging stories. However, this technique can be difficult to utilize properly, as it requires a deep understanding of narrative structure and the protagonist’s character.

For further reading on first-person perspective, please see the following articles:

Arnett, J. J. (2002). The psychology of first-person shooter video games. Review of General Psychology, 6(2), 181-214.

Gavin, M. (2019). The importance of narrative in video games. ACM Computers in Entertainment, 17(3), 1-9.

Krzywinska, T. (2006). First-person perspectives: Engaging the player. In M. J. P. Wolf & B. Perron (Eds.), The video game theory reader (pp. 83-98). Routledge.

Linderoth, J. (2015). Inside out: A game design analysis of Pixar’s animated feature. ACM Computers in Entertainment, 13(2), 1-17.

Palson, P. (2012). Firewatch: A player’s perspective. In M. J. P. Wolf & B. Perron (Eds.), The video game theory reader 2 (pp. 143-156). Routledge.

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