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What is a First Person Shooter - Definition & Overview

A brief overview of the first person shooter genre

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What is a First Person Shooter?

First person shooter, abbreviated as FPS, is a genre of video games which is played from a first person perspective, that is to say players play the game looking through the eyes of the main character they're controlling. First Person Shooters are classified as a sub-genre of action games and are sometimes referred to with a more general term of shooters. However the term shooters, like survival horror, tactical shooters, and squad based shooters can also include third person shooters as well.

First Person Shooter Game Lists
 • Top First Person Shooters
 • Top World War II First Person Shooters
 • Star Wars First Person Shooters

Common Themes for First Person Shooters
 • Modern Military
 • Sci-Fi
 • Survival Horror
 • World War II

The PC has a long history with the first person shooter video game genre, Wolfenstein 3D, developed back in 1992 by id Software, is usually credited as the first, first person shooter as we know them today and over the years the genre has pushed the envelope of both hardware and computer graphics. Today first person shooters required advanced graphics cards and are developed and rendered in 3D environments; many of which are fully descructible and include their own physics engine.

Multiplayer capability in first person shooters has become a staple in recent years as Internet connection speeds have increased and after the success of titles such as Counter-Strike, Quake III Arena, and the Battlefield series just to name a few. Most games have multiple multiplayer game modes, such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag.

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