Levine: First-person is the most immersive, child-like perspective

Thursday, 24th February 2011 04:57 GMT By Brenna Hillier

First person perspective offers the fewest barrier to a child-like sense of immersion, according to BioShock creator Ken Levine.

“I think it’s obviously, for me, the most direct way to engage. It’s one less barrier to the experience,” Levine told Industry Gamers.

Levine likened gaming to childhood imaginary play, and said it offers a sympathetic experience most adults can no longer achieve independently.

“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. … 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-[conscious].”

“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,” he concluded.

For those under rocks, Levine is the founder and creative director of Irrational Games; his next game is BioShock Infinite.



  1. Isaaclarke37

    FPS for me puts you in the heart of the battlefield a little bit.
    It’s to me somehow preferable than TPS.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. DSB

    Like he says, it makes it personal.

    If you’re in third person or further away, there’s not the same immersion, it’s an overview of events rather than directly observing them.

    That can be both good and bad, but I’d really like to see some more games focus a bit more on immersion.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. OrbitMonkey

    I love first person in rpgs, such as fallout & oblivion. Am i the only guy who’ll take time out to admire my characters outfit to make sure I’m still looking awesome when back in game?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DSB

    To me that’s kinda lost in Fallout and Oblivion, because the characters are so poorly done.

    It looks like the whole world has been inflicted with some kind of disease placing everybody squarely in the uncanny valley. For me an RPG will always be more about upgrades, combat, and interacting with compelling stories.

    No use putting on a fancy jacket if you can’t strafe without looking like a retard :P

    Personally I really like first person horror games like the original F.E.A.R. or especially Condemned. That’s fucking scary. Currently trying out Amnesia, it reminds me of Clive Barker’s Undying so far.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey

    ^ Totally agree with you about Condemned, a very underated horror imo. The section in the abdoned supermarket, with those store dummys was very tense :D

    #5 4 years ago

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