While reading an old issue of Escapist Magazine that asked whether
Death in First Person
A major difference between Second Person and First Person viewpoints in video games is that those playing from second-person will see their character(s) die, but those in first-person will experience death pseudo-firsthand. Likewise, those watching from top-down will watch their characters performing horrific deeds, but those looking down the barrel of the gun will perform the deeds themselves. It’s a subtle, but significant difference, like programming a robot to perform a task instead of doing it yourself. There is an added level of abstraction to the second person view, while the first person view is more immediate.
Personally, I’m not as into games that have a top-down or over-the-shoulder view, because that perspective literally takes me “out” of the game. Being in first-person makes me feel more connected, it removes a level of “suspension of disbelief” and makes the game more entertaining for me. I think a Holodeck / Virtual Reality system would be awesome. I definitely ride without the Top Down.
Anyway, it makes me wonder if there are specific personality types or life experiences that would make people tend toward the first-person view or second-person in games. Is there something that makes people want to ‘separate’ themselves from the actions, experiences and deaths of their virtual counterparts?
Perhaps the University of Minnesota Psychology Department should be looking into this?