This trope applies when the story is told from "inside the head" of one person. If there is a narrative, it will be told as if that person were speaking to us; if there is a camera, it will be looking through that person's eyes. (A related perspective is third person limited, which likewise follows a single character's point of view, but views that character from outside.) It's most commonly used in literature as a narrative technique and in video games as a genre. It is noticeable and notable when it appears outside of those two areas, especially in movie and film where it's relatively rare to see anything directly from a characters perspective, rarer still for it to be maintained throughout. It was a major breakthrough in art when this was subverted and perspectives that no human could reasonably see started to be used in painting, such as a birds eye view.
This, especially when accompanied by first person narration, can also unintentionally function as a Spoiler Opening
to a Genre Savvy
audience, who subconsciously assume (with good reason) that regardless of what happens during the story (who dies, etc.) the viewpoint character must
survive the events in order to be in a position to relate the tale to the audience later.
Sibling trope of Second-Person Narration
- In the Doom movie there's a sequence shot in first person meant to reflect its First-Person Shooter roots.
- In later seasons NUMB3RS used gun barrel perspective as the FBI agents performed operations intercut with more regular footage.
- In Kick-Ass when Hit-Girl rescues Kick Ass and Big Daddy from Johnny G's thugs, it's done in a First-Person Shooter style.
- In the original Halloween movie the opening sequence in which a young Michael Myers spies on then murders his older sister is done from his point of view.
- Neogicia is told from Saly Asigar's point of view.
- The Vampire Academy books are told entirely through Rose Hathaway's perspective.