I guess I interpret second and first person opposite of everyone else -
First person separates me from the PC in that it feels like someone is telling me a story. I almost never feel I’m in the role of the character/harrator.
For example, Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne is written in first person:
I braced m’self on my left hand and shone the light down into the well again. It was hard as hell to make myself do that, especially now that it was almost completely dark. He’d managed to get to his feet somehow, and I could see the flashlight beam reflecting back at me from three of four wet spots around the workboots he was wearin. It made me think of the way I’d seen the eclipse in those busted pieces of tinted glass after he got tired of chokin me and I fell on the porch.
In interactive fiction where I have to specify commands, I feel like I’m making suggestions to the character rather than inhabiting them. For example, if I’d had to choose “Shine the light down the well”, I might be the character’s conscience, or an advice giver, or a voice in their head. I am by no means feeling like I am Dolores.
If I rewrite this in 2nd person-present (with apologies to S. King):
You brace yourself on your left hand and shine the light down into the well again. It’s hard to do that, especially now that it is almost completely dark. He’s managed to get to his feet somehow, and you can see the flashlight beam reflecting back from three or four wet spots around the workboots he is wearing. It reminds you of how you saw the eclipse in those busted pieces of tinted glass after he got tired of choking you and you fell on the porch.
This feels more familiarly interactive fiction, and here, despite not being a middle aged woman, 2nd person invites me to roleplay the character rather than feeling like I’m texting another character their next action on a cell phone.