Bioshock’s Ken Levine explains why the first-person perspective is so engaging

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MEFPP 

For most gamers, the mention of “first person” automatically invokes images of nicely modelled guns and, depending on your skills, swathes of dead enemies. For legendary game designer Ken Levine – whose work you’ve sampled in System Shock 2, SWAT 4 and more recently BioShock – its a way of offering a level of immersion that harkens back to childhood.

He’s  related why he feels games in the first person perspective are the "most direct way to engage: players.

“It’s a strange thing to be in someone else’s shoes. It’s something we do very naturally as children, but it’s something that is much more difficult for adults. I think that games gives us enough of a nudge in the right direction to have that childhood experience of play.”

"Not just play from a fun standpoint, but transposing your identity onto somebody else’s, and that is something so powerful when you are a kid. You just lose that as an adult because you get so self-conscience.Games sort of allow us to break through that layer to let us go back to that space of play, which I think is really powerful."

While I’m not a big fan of first-person shooters I am inclined to agree with him. I’d be even more inclined if developers put more effort in to the first person experience. There’s nothing worse than playing a FPP game, looking down, and realising that you’re a disembodied, gun-toting set of arms, without legs, weight or a shadow. Mirror’s Edge nailed the “full body” first person experience perfectly, and it’s something I’d like to see more of.

Levine’s next game, the incredible looking Bioshock infinite is set for release some time next year.

Source : IndustryGamers

Last Updated: February 24, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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