Loss of player agency

Video game concept

Any tags referring to concepts that take away agency (control of the character) from the player, regardless if it would intuitively do so even in life. Notice some of these tags are not restricted to being applied only to the player and are more general.

Considering the attention loss of player agency in video games has gained in recent times, this is a listing of concepts that do so besides some basic ones.

Acceptable loss of player agency; concepts that cause loss of agency but are not seen as such by most players:
* Character death
* Modal menus, minigames, etc.
Accidental dischargeCharacters can accidentally fire their weapons, such as from shock (pain, electric, etc.)2003 / 20042 games
BerserkersCharacters or other entities that (under certain conditions) fight in uncontrollable frenzy, attacking anyone in their way or near them regardless if they're friend or foe.1998 / 201935 games
BlindingPlayer can be virtually blinded (e.g. whole screen turning white), losing visual feedback completely or near completely, forcing them to function by memory of the area or by audio cues rather than sight.2005 / 20142 games
Control lossPlayer may under certain circumstances (in normal play, not in cinematics) lose control of the protagonist to some degree.2004 / 201511 games
Control malfunctionUnder certain circumstances player's controls may malfunction or behave unexpectedly, commonly as a product of drunkenness, confusion status effect, or similar.1985 / 201845 games
Forced polymorphSome beings in the setting can force others to take some other form. Commonly lasts only a short while.1985 / 201747 games
Forced varietyPlayer is forced to vary with what or how they play.container group
InterruptingThe use of skills, spells, abilities, etc. (possibly even the most basic actions) can be interrupted by others, usually by hurting whoever is trying to perform them.1996 / 201840 games
Involuntary actionsThe protagonist may suddenly decide to do something that is not what the player commanded them to do, whether or not this was voluntary for the protagonist either. Only when this happens out of scripted events (cutscenes).1992 / 201810 games
Involuntary statesThe protagonist's or equivalent's state, status, shape, etc. changes involuntarily from time to time.1984 / 20108 games
Match-locked charactersCharacters, vehicles, etc. are locked in game matches until the end of the match, unusable in new matches even if player leaves the match early (e.g. leaving a last man standing match early after their own death).2010 / 20166 games
NPC stunningNPCs can stun the player character for any amount of time.1998 / 201818 games
PainGetting hit, falling significant heights, being electrocuted, etc. cause the subjected character (especially in case of the protagonist) to reel in pain or otherwise temporarily becoming incapacitated.1994 / 201553 games
Power negationPlayer character can somehow negate powers (such as magic) of others, or be subjected to such themselves.2003 / 201812 games
Random chanceMost effects of basic actions are based on random chance rather than what you actually see happening. Or random chance otherwise is central gameplay element.1989 / 2019120 games
StaggeringPlayer character and others may stagger or otherwise be caused to lose steady footing. In first person games this likely involves the view and aim swaying somewhat uncontrollably.2011 / 201615 games