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Basically it's taking away camera control away from the player in a third person Polygonal Graphics game. The camera will either stay in a fixed location while the character roams about, or it will follow the player's movement only from a fixed angle and distance.

This is usually done for two reasons (and some games have both). One reason is "cinematic", as in making the game have a certain look and mood (though this quickly draws complaints of Camera Screw when players want to look elsewhere). The second reason is to avoid Camera Screw by putting the camera in an optimum place. This is very hard to do right, as the developers not only need to find the right angles, but design the levels (especially the placement of traps, puzzles, and enemies) so that the player can notice them at said angles.

Note that this is not when the fixed angle is necessary due to bitmap backgrounds. This is when it's all polygons.

Compare Two Point Five D (when the polygon graphics are always shown from the same perspective).

Contrast First-Person Shooter (in terms of viewing), Always Over the Shoulder, Free Rotating Camera.

Not to be confused with Camera Lock On, where the player can "fix" the camera on a specific target of interest.

Examples of Fixed Camera include:
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