The Stanley Parable

I’ll do my best to describe The Stanley Parable without spoiling it at the same time.  With that being said, proceed at your own risk.

The Stanley Parable is a game where you find out how many times you’re willing, or have the patience for, to replay a game that explores the tension created between the player and author in an interactive narrative.  It’s a provocative experience for those who have played many games, have written a lot about games, are too serious about games, or just enjoy the idea of finding ways to poke holes in stories.  At first glance, one might be hard pressed to pinpoint what exactly makes this a game.  It feels more of digital essay deconstructing interactive narratives (which it does effectively) but it becomes a game of finding novel and unique ways to end it.  Some of these will be obvious – do exactly as your told – but other game ending strategies will make you feel genuinely clever.  It’s thoughtful and well voiced.  And while you may not see an obvious point to it, it will be an engaging experience that you’ll want to consume in one sitting.  It’s not going to have the same universal appeal as a game like Portal, whose wit makes no assumption about the player.  But that’s not what it sets out to accomplish (and it explicitly acknowledges as much.)  Stanley Parable relies on the player’s experience or fascination with interactive narratives to be effective.  And given that prior experience, you’ll be rewarded while playing it.  There’s really not much else I think I can say about the game without taking away from the experience of playing it, but you can rest assured that it’s worth checking out for yourself.

A special thanks goes to @Raisins for sending this to me as a birthday gift!

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