One of the things that has come from the thought I have put into my project (full details to come shortly) into educational applications of FPS style games has been a real belief that first person perspective gaming is a richer experience than third person. This has raised a few questions for me.
Chief among these questions is that of why there isn’t more variety in terms of first person perspective gameplay? Puzzle games have it in that it is you interacting with the puzzle elements on the screen rather than via the agency of your avatar however this isn’t so far removed from simply doing a real puzzle that is sitting on the table in front you.
I know that whenever I play a first person shooter (and even moreso when I am playing other people rather than the computer A.I) I have a more intense emotional experience than when I play any other game. The feelings of fear, excitement and joy are richer in these games than any games that involve controlling an avatar, regardless of how good those games might be.
If I can have that level of emotional involvement in a shooting game, why shouldn’t I have it in other gaming experiences. Most importantly of all, why shouldn’t I be able to have these richly emotional experiences when I am learning something. The technology is clearly available so what is the problem? We live our lives in a first person perspective and if we benefit from making our learning experiences as authentic as possible, surely learning in first person perspective games is more authentic than any other game type.
Then again, perhaps this is exactly the problem. Playing a third person perspective game can ultimately be seen as a glorified form of playing with toys or dolls. We are able to do more with our avatar in them and we have more power over them, which may provide us with more of an escape from reality.
I recognise that driving games and flight simulations also offer first person perspective gameplay however they don’t allow the player to interact with objects and characters in the game environment on more than a superficial level and as such are a different kettle of fish. (And I rarely play driving games in anything other than 3PP for the aforementioned reasons of better control.
Is first person perspective too intense for us? Why aren’t there non-shooting first person games?