Overview and common mechanics
First-person shooters are one of the most popular and most notorious video game genres. As the name implies, these games are played from the viewpoint of the player's avatar. The primary mechanics are:
- using guns and other weapons to alter the physical environment and/or overcome enemies (usually by killing them);
- avoiding damage from the environment and enemy characters, whether computer- or human-controlled;
- navigating complex interior and exterior spaces using maps and direct observation;
- and locating items or other objectives.
Other first-person games
Not all games played from the first-person perspective are violent shooters. Role-playing games, action games and even puzzle games sometimes place the player inside his or her avatar.
Because they include violent content by definition, first-person shooters are unlikely to be appropriate for use in many classrooms. Possible exceptions include games that strive to accurately portray historical events, or that feature especially sophisticated narratives.