Point of View & Video Games: Part 2

With 2nd person PoV, this is essentially every video game from the literal sense. As I said in Part 1, all video games are written for 2nd person PoV but played through a different PoV. If 1st person if looking direct through the character’s eyes and “feeling” what they feel, then 2nd person is you seeing that character and controlling all of their actions.

The Arkham Series (which I previously talked about in “It’s All About the Details“) is a great example of a standard video game PoV. Most games with this PoV, but especially games in a series like Arkham, do a better job at drawing the player into the storyline and game in my opinion. With first person view, I always think of just shooting games. However, as you may know, Arkham has nothing to do with shooting (at least, not done by ‘you’ aka Batman). For me, being able to move around, gain knowledge, and truly become part of the story. However, since I previously talked about the Arkham games and their awesomeness, I will use a different series.

A wildly popular series that is perfect for what I’m talking about is the Assassin’s Creed series. It has exploded in popularity. There are currently five AC games (I own and have beaten them all) with a sixth one being released next month. The storyline of the games is a little complicated, but basically you are a young man in the present who has to go back in time to learn the skills of the Assassin’s from his ancestors in order to stop the Knights Templar. That’s the most basic description that I can give and I know it’s not that basic.

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The detailing in this are very similar to how in depth the Arkham series goes. The cool thing is that you’re learning information with the main character Desmond. Although we aren’t looking at anything through his eye sight, through the use of 2nd person, we are learning all the facts about this “mission” just as he is. This applies through all the games. The other cool thing is that with this PoV, you can see the actions you’re guiding happening. So, for example, if you’re going to jump off the roof of a building to assassinate someone, you have to set it up and be in the perfect position.

Books in 2nd person PoV aren’t really that common because it’s a hard thing to do. I’m sure at least some of you remember the Goosebumps “choose your path” books where you got to pick what happens next. Those are the perfect example of books in 2nd person. Another example that I’m sure will make us all feel good inside:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
(Dr. Seuss, Oh! The Places You’ll Go! )

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Although 2nd person PoV is hard to write about, it’s definitely a style of writing I reccommend at least trying once in your life. The cool thing with this PoV is that it crosses every genre. You can do fiction, creative nonfiction, self-help stories, poems, diary entries, and other genres. It’s a great technique to immerse a reader directly into the story.

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