Limiting the range of actions a player character can make in a game to allow for exposition
Do We Have This One?. Definitely Needs a Better Title, open to suggestions. The problem of how to provide exposition to players in Video Games is a difficult one. At one extreme, some studios cut straight to non-interactive cutscenes or text screens to convey all the relevant plot information needed. This generally ensures that players will get all the information required, but can significantly disrupt the pacing of the game, and many players dislike having control wrested away from them altogether. Other studios take the Half-Life approach of never taking control away from the player and providing exposition within the game's engine. This generally avoids disrupting the pace too much, but can result in players accidentally missing key information if their attention was focussed on something else. This trope takes a middle course: not taking control away from the player, but temporarily limiting the actions the player character is able to carry out so as to better focus the player's attention on the exposition. For example, supposing that in normal gameplay the Player Character can run, fire his or her weapon, jump, toss grenades and crouch. In this trope, the player remains in control of the player character, but during story scenes can do little more than walk around or crouch, in order to focus the player's attention on exposition. (Forcing the player character to walk slowly can also double as Dynamic Loading.) When done well, this combines the advantages of the two main alternatives and conveys exposition effectively without compromising the interactivity of the medium. When done poorly, it drags the pace down just as much as cutting to a cutscene, and frustrates players even more. Note that using this trope does not preclude using the two aforementioned alternatives: it's not uncommon to use two or even all of them. Compare Controllable Helplessness, Exposition Break and Scenic Tour Level for other ways of providing exposition in video games.