I have never played a First Person Shooter or a Third person shooter extensively (i.e. more than for a few minutes at a conference, launch event or friend's house). Never on PC's, never on consoles. Frankly I don't really understand (even after reading the Wikipedia articles) the nuances or differences between the two genres, if I've confused the two please suggest changes (or edit accordingly)
As someone who follows the game industry closely (and has for about 2 decades) clearly I've missed a key category of games (I've missed more - most of my gaming has been non-PC or console games).
But when I read about shooters - either PC or console much of the reviews and discussions seem to start from an assumption that the FPS/TPS genre is one that you have been playing for years and years - one that you understand and get the basic controls.
I do not.
I've tried playing FPS on my iPhone, I've tried playing them on various consoles. I've never been able to figure out how to move, aim, shoot and not die in a few seconds (or not die but also not find anything in the game at all - i.e. the few times I've tried playing Halo I spent the game lost and trying to figure out how to move).
About the closest I ever came to playing FPS was the old, arcade only MechWarrior games of the early 90's, but I was horrible at them due to being Red-Green colorblind meaning that I frequently would shoot my allies as often as I shot the opposing team. I understand that more modern FSP have generally managed to fix the all to common problems earlier generations of games had for players with colorblindness (though it is something that still worries me).
At present I only have Mac's (and an iPhone) but I plan on getting a console in the near future (haven't decided which yet) and while I do not run Windows on my iMac or my MacBook I could dual boot if necessary (I don't plan on getting a gaming PC but may consider that purchase in the future as well). I've also been considering getting Onlive and connecting it to our HDTV.
I'm less interested in specific game recommendations (which I understand are off topic here) than in how to find games which will be "newbie" friendly - something few if any critics whose reviews feed into MetaCritic talk about - as mostly they haven't been newbie players for many many years. I'm looking for how can a player who is unfamiliar with the basics of the genre get into to - are there specific series or platforms which will be easier for a new player (I'm assuming single-player modes will give me the most time to learn but perhaps I'm wrong)
I have no idea which genre(s) of FPS will most appeal to me - I've never played ANY of them - so I don't really get the differences between Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty etc or all the many other games in the genre. Heck I'm not sure if something like Team Fortress fits into this genre at all (or if I would enjoy it).