Why can I see my avatar? Embodied visual engagement in the third-person video game

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30 Citations (Scopus)


This essay seeks to answer two questions raised by the success of video games where the player looks at the character she is playing rather than seeming to inhabit the same coordinates as the character within the game space. First, why is the experience of playing these games not innately inferior to that of playing games with a first-person point of view, given that the sense of being a character sensing and acting inside the game space could be expected to be much stronger when the character’s body seems to be one’s own rather than a separate entity in the game space? And second, if the first-person point of view is so “immersive” and provides such a sense of being “inside” the representational space as is sometimes claimed, why has it never been so prominent in other audiovisual entertainment media such as film and television?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-199
Number of pages21
JournalGames and Culture: a journal of interactive media
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • aesthetics
  • embodiment
  • first-person
  • immersion
  • perspective
  • point of view
  • representation
  • third-person

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