Why is “The Stanley Parable” So Interesting?

Most games that you play involve some sort of mechanic and a good amount of games also integrate a story. I believe that, on average, most games do not integrate their mechanics into the story. While you could argue that a mechanic like shooting is integrated into the story because you play as a character who is shooting. But that’s not quite what I mean by “integrated into the story”. There’s a game called The Stanley Parable, you can pick it up on Steam for pretty cheap. You play as a man named Stanley whose office was suddenly deserted. The only people left are you and this cheeky British narrator. The only thing you do is walk around and choose which path you take. However, the path you choose may not always be the path that was… narrated for you. You can actively choose to defy the narrator, and he begins to comment on it. Without the narrator, your choices would be less interesting. Because you choose to defy or obey you feel like you are in control of your character. However, the game does some interesting things to make you feel like even your character (and sometimes the narrator) isn’t in control. It’s all very odd and thought-provoking. At times you hate the narrator because of his snide comments, but when some force larger than the narrator peeks its head, you start to question things. However, the weirdest thing is how it will just reset you back to the beginning. But something will be off. Something will be different. Not all resets are really resets. There’s no combat, no dialog decisions. In my opinion, boiling it down to the minimum a game could be really helps deconstruct games, and what they are. If it sounds interesting, check it out. I’m not going to talk much because everyone needs to experience it for themselves…


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