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I agree that, in this case, a player's personal aesthetics and playing style should be prioritized, so they should be able to choose what kind of view they want. I think that it's also a matter of what the creators want--do they want the player to experience the game how they (the creators) envision it (like a movie or an art piece in which the creator would prefer a specific way for the viewer to experience the work) or would they want to give the player free reign? If they are looking to focus on the latter, then I would definitely advocate having the player choose. When the perspective is changed automatically without the player's choice, it leans towards the former.
I do not know if there is a significant psychological difference between first person and third person views. In my experience, I usually associate first person views with first person shooters. I don't invest much emotion when I play those games. RPGs, puzzle games, and other games of the sort usually favor third person views and, due to the nature of the game genre, I tend to be more emotionally attached. I feel that my attachment to the games and characters isn't really due to the point of view but the type of game. However, the type of game has become closely connected with the point of view, and it might be hard for some to disassociate them. Considering the current game culture, I wonder if others would make the same associations as I do.
I also happen to have a few friends who get motion sickness in first person games, so that might be something to take into consideration.
With a first-person view, I feel like that you'll invest less on how your avatar looks--though maybe not significantly, since you might worry how others will see you. But, you personally would not be confronted with your image constantly. I do not know if playing in the first person would erase ethnic concerns, since you will be always aware of what others look like, even if you're not looking at yourself. I also think that the first person view might be a bit unsettling, depending on the action. If I were being hugged or kissed in the game, it might be a little odd to watch on the screen.
I think that the objective should be user friendliness. It seems that if an individual is choosing to play the game that they should do it in a way that is esthetically pleasing. The only thing that I might want to consider is the psychological effects of identity and how it is created through the visual culture of the interface.
For example, maybe if people see their avatars they will become ethnocentric and focus on themselves?
Does anyone know a little more about identity formation as it relates to semiotics and gaming?