Gameplay Journal Entry #9
The Stanley Parable
For this weeks, gameplay journal, I will be discussing The Stanley Parable. The Stanley Parable was first released in 2011, on July 31st. The game was unique for its “choose your own adventure” storyline, all focused player and narrator interaction. The player, in the game, is given different choices, while the narrator tells them what the player is meant to do. However, the player can choose to defy the choices of the pre-determines story and choose different options than the narrator. This gives the player multiple endings, some varying from escaping the facility to becoming a mindless drone again. The game itself explores the idea of defying the expectations forced upon you, and making your own path despite opposition.
The Stanley Parable was a game that offered the idea of free thinking, while presenting itself with “compelling, complex play environments using the intricacies of critical thinking to offer novel possibilities in games, and for a wide range of players.” (1) The Stanley Parable doesn’t simply have one or two endings, all of which you are still guided towards, but offers a very wide range of endings to help tailor itself to the mindset of the player. The most obvious paths, such as following all of the narrator’s instructions and defying them all, do tend to be the most commonly picked, especially for new players, but there are still different endings available for a mix of rebellion and obedience. The Stanley Parable also utilizes the use of playing the game multiple times, and will also offer new endings after other playthroughs have been experienced.
(1) “The challenge, then, is to find ways to make compelling, complex play environments using the intricacies of critical thinking to offer novel possibilities in games, and for a wide range of players.”
Flanagan, M. (2013). Critical play: Chapter 1. In Critical play: Radical game design (p. 6). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.