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The player's choices have a tangible impact on the game world, and/or the player perceives this to be the case



Agency refers to the player's sense of control and influence over the virtual environment. It encompasses the degree to which a player's decisions and actions have a meaningful impact on the narrative, gameplay, and outcomes within the game. Agency is a fundamental aspect of player engagement, providing a sense of empowerment and investment in the gaming experience. An example of agency can be found in narrative-driven games, such as "The Walking Dead". In this interactive drama, players make crucial decisions that significantly shape the story's progression. The narrative adapts dynamically to the player's choices, creating a personalized and immersive experience.

For instance, a player might decide which characters to save in a life-threatening situation or make moral choices that influence relationships within the game. The consequence of these decisions resonates throughout the narrative, influencing character dynamics, plot twists, and ultimately, the outcome of the game. The concept of agency extends beyond narrative-driven games to various genres, including open-world and role-playing games, where players often have the freedom to explore, make strategic choices, and impact the virtual world. Games that successfully provide a high level of agency foster a stronger connection between the player and the game world, as the player feels a direct and influential role in shaping the unfolding events.

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