The Subjective Viewpoint in Video Games

After considering what we discussed in class as the “subjective view” of specific characters in film, I quickly was able to think of movies I had seen that used this view to great effect (Fight Club especially as I mentioned in class). However, I struggled to think of instances where this came into play in any video games that I had played. Upon further (and deeper) thinking though, I found that I was simply missing the way that the elements fit together in the games I have played. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess uses the subjective view in that there are certain parts of the game that can only be seen when the player transforms Link into a wolf and triggers his “wolf vision.” This really made me think of the advantages that there are to using the subjective view in a video game. A developer can make an entire game, and then with a simple upgrade or a change to some other kind of point of view, the game can be completely changed. In a sense, any kind of game that has places that cannot be reached until the player gets certain upgrades or have completed tasks use the subjective view, as they player is forced to go about the video game inhibited by the limited abilities of the character(s) they control. Having never studied the subjective view before this class, I must say that it is something that is incredibly important to the art of story telling in both film and games (as well as literature), and have realized that it is an integral part of each of these genres that while having seen it used, I had never before grasped its importance.

One thought on “The Subjective Viewpoint in Video Games

  1. Professor Sample

    That’s a really great question: what games only selectively shift point of view for key moments of game play? As you note, it can be quite jarring, as well as emotionally gripping.

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