Chosing Second or third POV in your game

wondering people’s thoughts on this. when do you think a game should or shouldnt use “You” as the protagonist? I always like the “You” thing, even when the character isnt nameless- ex Disco Elysium referring to “You” even though you are a character with a heavily established personality and background (but played off well due to the amnesia). However when i played Two Girls in Trouble, the two main characters, even when you switch POVs, are named on their own- there is no “you”

when do you think a game should or shouldnt use use “You”? I am starting to question this myself… i think I will go with “You” because i want people to feel immersed, and in my story the character’s lack of memory on the immediate situation at hand allows you to discover it yourself for the first time. but still a little unsure because she also has an established background and personality too. curious on others thoughts!


I think for the most part, if you’re distinctly in your character’s head and making decisions for them in the moment, 2nd person/you is most appropriate. 3rd person POV feels better to me if you’re doing something with a more “authorial” approach, aka “what did this person who we are telling a story about together do”, to give a little remove.


I really prefer the second person POV for narrative games in this format, even when a character is a fully established person. I think using “you” makes things way more immersive, like you’re being pulled into part of the story rather than just observing the character you’re playing as. Using a third person pronoun can add a bit more distance in that case.

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I think its down to personal preference, but:

In my game LLRPG where the main character has a nickname but is otherwise a fairly blank slate I’ve gone for ‘You’. Seperates it out easily for the player so it doesn’t blend in with other characters, and keeps it very much “you are roleplaying this character.”.

For another side project where the character has a specific name, personality etc, and choices are flavour rather than radical open roleplay I have gone for using the characters name. I think Two Women takes the same approach, which works well given there are only two characters, and you switch who you are playing as ocassionaly thoughout :slight_smile:

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I’d say it mostly depends on whether you want to try to make the player really identify as the character and feel things personally, or do more detached roleplay

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love the responses! intrigued to see people’s thoughts on the matter. i haven mostly played games like this using second POV, and ive always enjoyed it for feeling like im pushed into the character’s experience, even if they exist as some kind of character that isnt a complete blank slate. its mostly hard for me to decide if too much of a developed character would make it hard to make the “You” feel fitting or not. But its very true that I really like the feeling of making the player feel as if they really are part of the story, and “You” often does that.

Obviously most written books out there go for third person. So i guess I can look at that POV in a these kinds of games for that reason as well. i feel like when I was thinking about third POV in context to my own game, that it wouldn’t feel like You are in the story, as some say above- detached. And i know i do want people to feel immersed, to feel the feelings the character is feeling. Even if there are some established character details, I don’t think theyre hard enough as to bombard the player to where they dont relate i think.

Its interesting to think of second vs third vs first. Second feel immersive and as if the story is in a sense, commanding You to experience it- “You did this”, “you feel this”. Third feeling detached as it refers to characters and not you- “Character talked to Character B”. And even first has its own detachment imo- “I woke up this morning” is speaking of events as if you had already done them, and are recounting them. Obviously, much like reading a journal rather than second POV that feel more “active” and in the moment.

So many of them work for a variety of reasons and have their own purpose in the end. Been going back and forth on it for my own reasons, but I do think second POV is one i prefer for narrative games.

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