John Walker's Electronic House

A Second Person’s Perspective

by on Aug.12, 2005, under The Rest

I can’t remember what the context was now, but a long while back in Gamer I made a call for someone to invent the ‘second-person perspective’ game. Obviously I was being flippant, but now someone has created it:

self abuse

Select Parks’ Julian Oliver has created something which doesn’t appear to have a given name. Apparently he’s been struggling with the notion for years himself, although unlike me, he took it beyond a stupid joke, and unlike me, is enormously skilled in all sorts of ways, and has made a demo of his idea.

“The first person perspective has always been priveledged with the pointillism (or synchronicity) of a physiology that travels with the will in some shape or form, “I act from where I perceive” and “I am on the inside looking out”. In this little experiment however, you are on the outside looking in, and to my great amusement, it’s a complete and total pain in the arse.”

Apparently the aim is to shoot yourself in order to survive, which sounds… um… like shooting the enemy to survive, surely? I don’t know – I’m just so proud that others take stupid ideas to such beautiful lengths.

2 Comments for this entry

  • Frosty840

    Happened to be discussing this last night and sort of decided that conventional “third person” games were actually second person games.
    The theory goes that a FPS is the “I” persective, but conventional “third person” games actually show “you” doing things. Sure, on the screen you generally see a “him”, which certainly confuses the perspective issue, as does the fact that in a “first person” book, you have no more control over the “I” than you do in a third person book. In games, however, there are main characters under your direct control, as in first person games, and there are games where you do not have direct control over a character, such as Lemmings, or a god game.

    One could ultimately argue, I suppose, that there are only two perspectives in gaming, direct control and indirect control, there being no real first person “I” or second person “yous”, but only “them”, outside of conversations involving people who had had games made about their lives.

  • Richard

    People who make “games” like this have too much spare time… or not enough ritalin.