Second best?


I'm sure more-qualified people have discussed this more intelligently, but I never let that stop me before...

There are notable works written in second-person narrative, but the majority of fiction is written in first- or third-person. And while readers can identify strongly with the second-person form, most find it jarring and forever associated with cheesy choose-your-own-adventure books. Yes, this is just a convention, and obviously long-time IF readers think nothing of being told how they feel, act, and react, but it seems the average reader doesn't want to make the jump. I suspect that as long as interactive works are written in the second-person, most new readers will be turned off.

One problem with the protagonist of a story being "you" is that either the writer characterizes "you" with interesting details which likely clash with your real reactions and specifics, or the writer omits them for you to fill in, creating a bland "cipher" protagonist. With good first- and third-person fiction, the protagonist is unique and compelling, perhaps wildly different from the reader, but someone they can identify or sympathize with.

Why isn't more interactive fiction written in the first- or third-person? I'm interested to hear what people think on this, and what  notable non-second-person interactive texts are out there.