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Levine: why first-person is so engaging

"It's one less barrier to the experience."

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

For BioShock maker Ken Levine, the first-person perspective is the "most direct way to engage" with gamers.

"It's one less barrier to the experience," the Irrational Games head honcho told IndustryGamers.

Designer Levine, whose credits include first-person games System Shock 2, SWAT 4 and BioShock, reckons the first-person perspective offers a feeling unlike any other.

"It's a strange thing to be in someone else's shoes," he said. "It's something we do very naturally as children, but it's something that is much more difficult for adults.

"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."

Levine's next game is yet another first-person game: BioShock Infinite, due out next year.

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