First vs. Second vs. Third-person Perspectives in Video Games

First vs. Second vs. Third-person Perspectives in Video Games

Today’s video will be a quick explanation
of the three most prominent player perspectives
in video games.
First-person perspective is when the game
camera shows you what your character sees
as if you were looking through their eyes.
This is most common in games with a prominent
shooting mechanic like Call of Duty or Portal
because it allows for increased accuracy of
cursor location and an expanded field of view.
First-person perspective is used most commonly
to help the player experience a game as if
they were the character in the story.
The least used perspective in games, second-person
perspective is when a player sees their character
through the eyes of another character entirely.
The only popular example I could think of
was Super Mario 64 wherein a koopa-on-a-cloud
named Lakitu films Mario as if it were a news
broadcast. Since Lakitu is holding the game’s
camera, the player sees Mario through the
eyes of Lakitu.
This perspective is unpopular for a reason:
it is difficult to find reasons for several
characters to be observing the player’s
character, and awkward camera locations may
inhibit gameplay.

Third-person perspective is when the game
camera shows the player’s character from
a location not related to any character, and
it is most often utilized through two methods:
over-the-shoulder and top-down. Over-the-shoulder
simulates a first-person field of view while
allowing the player to see their character,
and top-down provides a nearly objective,
god-like position over many characters and
The reasons for using any given perspective
can vary between games, but regardless of
which perspective a game uses, it greatly
affects gameplay and how the player interprets
the game.

49 thoughts on “First vs. Second vs. Third-person Perspectives in Video Games”

  1. 2nd person view is when the player is looking through the eyes of another character following the protagonist

    Battletoads boss 1
    Grand Theft Auto 3: CJ running toward screen with bicycle
    Kingdom Hearts 2 Xigbar Sniper part of fight
    Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion, running away from Bull
    Any multiplayer games where you look at the screen of your opponent

    It's rarely used as the focus of the screen will always be your character coming toward the screen wouldn't be interesting as we want to see the world the character interacts with rather than the character themselves all the time

  2. I thought the second person perspective was showing the character from a front point of view. for example showing the character in a video game running from a boulder.

  3. I think Psychonauts has an example of Second Person Perspective.

    Using "clairvoyance" on other characters changes the camera to their point of view, allowing you to see the world and yourself through their eyes.

  4. Mario is 3th person camera. 2nd person is when the action is taken against us. For example if we were looking through a turtle eyes, but still using the Mario character we kill the turtle

  5. For a second-person shooter, where you only see through the eyes of the monsters you are fighting, try Zato. It's a 3D online game.

  6. There is a difference between narrative perspective and camera perspective, you're right about camera perspective but narratively, all video games are first person, unless you're watching someone else play, that would be third person. In first person, you tell the character in game what to do, you are him. In a second person game, there is an AI within the game who tells YOU what to do, he controls you. Which probably can't be done without mind control but we're getting there.

  7. First Person Does NOT offer a more immersive field of view.
    To me it always feels like someone had placed horse-style blinders over the sides, top and down of my character's eyes.
    I'm not playing in VR i'm playing on a screen which means i don't get to see through my character's eyes but instead i get to just look inside a frame of the character's perspective which isn't immersive and often cumbersome.

    Do try this at home, tape a paper or something to each side of your head so it would cover your field of view much like an FPS game then try walking around for a bit. Do not try this if you have some sort of neck cramps cause you will have to turn your whole head around ALOT just to look at small details that you don't usually focus on though you need to be able to give you a sense of your surroundings.

    First Person sucks.

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  9. If only more channels like these existed on YouTube. Quick and on point. Not the garbage that gag on the 10 min mark for ad revenue like whores.

  10. I hate 3rd. If there's no option to switch to 1st like in skyrim I get irritated quick, I don't like having to move the camera to see what's going on around the fat fuck in front of me.

  11. Well i thought second person perspectibe was games like street fighter or Teken…glad to learn it wasnt

  12. i think chase rounds in crash bandicoot games describes 2nd person better because
    in 1 video i saw 2nd person is the person u shoot in shooting games there was a meme too of same

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