I was reading about points of view in narrative fiction, specifically the second person perspective.  The article in Creating Fiction said that most people have shied away from the second person, and it is largely reserved for poetry.  Of course, what hit me is that the second person perspective is alive and well — in computer games.  It seems to me the debate over whether the player feels like the main character or is playing the role of main character may already have been answered.  In fiction. 

The chapter points out some interesting uses for the second person.  “Second person can be written as scolding, informing, inquiring, arguing, reassuring.”  It would be interesting to see if WoW, for example, takes advantage of all these viewpoints.  Also, second person is more intimate than third person, and makes the reader more likely to identify with the “you” than the narrator. 

The chapter sites several stories with second person: “This Far,” by Randall Kenan; Self-Help by Lorrie Moore; and Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney; “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, and “Bread,” by Margaret Atwood.  Anyone else know other examples? 


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Filed under Fiction, Games

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