This is not a blog post about The Stanley Parable. This is not a blog post about a blog post I wrote about The Stanley Parable. Instead, this blog post examines this game in terms of level design, rather than rehashing how it was not about The Stanley Parable and the Postmodern Metanarrative. This is really not a serious blog post, I was just having fun. If you want to read a serious blog post please click on the link above…

 


No? Still here? Alright then, here we go.

The level progression is both controlled and not controlled by the narrator. I mean, you’re free to do what you like, but think of the consequences. You could die! Why would you want to die? Why would you not want to participate in this epic story, which takes us on Stanley’s journey to escape the monotony of corporate life and escape into the real world? It’s a good thing that we have our trusty narrator to guide us through. I suppose you can ignore the narrator, but really he’s just there to tell you the story – to guide you. Luckily for you, if you do decide to ignore him he can be quite accommodating, up to a point naturally. He will continue to guide you along the natural path of the game even if you ignore him, isn’t that sweet? Even if you don’t quite understand what to do, he is more than happy to help out. Just don’t temper him to much, I mean he is trying to tell you a story! If you don’t follow the story, what would be the point?

The Stanley Parable examines the relationship between free-willed players and the narrator. But what happens when he tells us to go down one path, and before we can, we are confronted with a big, red, interesting-looking button that we just can’t help but press? Well that’s just silly, you’re honestly just going to spoil the game, let’s just follow the story please. We don’t want to get off track, you wouldn’t want to start reading this blog post from the middle would you?

 

What? You do? Fine then, here is my conclusion:

The Stanley Parable plays with the player’s perception of free will and challenges our understanding of who is the player and what is the game. Is the challenge to follow the narrator or defy him, is it to find all possible endings? As pointed out in my other blog post, which has nothing to do with this blog post, the game forces us to confront the belief that the idea of Self is an adaptable instrument in human culture. Through the use of the Postmodern Metanarrative, The Stanley Parable forces us to confront the fragility of our own world and our own personal narrative.

 

Sorry were you expecting a different conclusion? My apologies, this isn’t a serious blog post after all, I don’t need to follow your expectations for a cohesive blog post! I am an adult, I have a cute pom-pom hat! Alright, now circling back around, since you were so clearly eager to jump to the end of the post and hear the conclusion here are my other points:

Our friendly narrator is also so kind to keep us constantly aware that we are in fact playing a video game and that this is all part of the story. But what is the actual story? Is it the one the narrator tells us or is it the one that we discover on our own? The levels and environments themselves offer very little in terms of response from the player. The primary interaction in the game is between that of ourselves and the narrator; a device which keeps players aware of their actions and demonstrates how little is actually needed in terms of gameplay when developers provide players with engaging narratives. To use the words of our trusty narrator,  “It’s an adventure, let’s find the story”. We could try to employ The Stanley Parable Adventure Line! That might help us with tracking the games fun and how it relates to level design, lest we never forget about the importance of ferns either.

Perhaps I can think of employing that in my next blog post? The blog adventure time! No… wait… I mean… the blog adventure line! You start with an introduction of what you want to achieve, the you cover your main points in paragraphs that flow after one another, throw in some academic references, cited in APA to keep you lecturers happy and make it look like you actually know what you’re talking about, then finally you wrap it all up with a conclusion. Sorry my bad this is supposed to be a post about The Stanley Parable, not writing. But it illustrates a good point about our trusty narrator, if you get lost or confused he tries to help the player by drawing out an adventure line! He may get confused himself and you may end up in a strange warehouse which looks like somewhere Hannibal would store a captive. After a few restarts of the game, we will be back on track. This is another great thing about The Stanley Parable and its replayability, you can do it lots.

Players have been given a lot of freedom and the game offers a huge amount of replayability. This affords us the opportunity to further explore our relationship with the game and the narrator. The primary reason why The Stanley Parable is so engaging is because levels are designed with the intention of exploring this relationship between narrator and player. Until the video game medium came about, it had been rather difficult to explore the relationship between the performer and the audience. Because games can be such a personal experience, rather than something that is shared with a mass of people, the relationship between the player and the narrator becomes highly personalized. Thus, making The Stanley Parable a masterful piece of work and an excellent demonstration of how the video game medium can challenge the relationship between the player and the game.
{Insert earlier conclusion here}

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