Archive for failure

The Stanley Parable

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2013 by caseystorton



-Huh, well, this is different. Remember back when I reviewed Katawa Shoujo and I said that I was having trouble committing to really calling it a game? While it had all of the basic features of a game (animation, input from a controller of some kind, an options menu, a save function, ect.) it was lacking in any kind of real “gameplay” in the traditional sense, and thus had been classified as a visual novel. Conversely, while The Stanley Parable does include “gameplay,” the lack of any sort of real way to fail at the game makes me question whether or not it can actually be classified as a game. I’m not really sure what it is, but I’m having trouble accepting it being a video game in the sense that we think of today.

-I’m really not sure what to say in terms of backstory here, so I think I’ll take the easy way out and let somebody else do it for me. The description on the Steam page reads: “The Stanley Parable is a first person exploration game. You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice. The game will end, the game will never end.” Are you confused? Feel free to stay that way, as the actual “game” only gets more and more weird. At its core, The Stanley Parable is a deconstruction of everything from narrative structure to the very nature of interactive fiction. Every moment in the game is an excuse for you to [attempt to] assert your control over the rules of the game, and for the game’s quirky narrator to [attempt to] assert his control over you, and even when it’s you that wins out, you’re never really sure if that’s what you wanted.


-It’s very interesting the way that the game approaches the concept of failure. Yes, you will be presented with opportunities to kill yourself, but doing so doesn’t result in failure, it’s just a way of seeing a different ending, after which the game loads back up and restarts you in Stanley’s office to have another go at it. By the way, you will absolutely want to have another go at it, as there’s so many endings, each incredibly different from the last, that there’s basically no way to accurately predict what will happen next.



-You really owe it to yourself to experience The Stanley Parable for yourself. While there are tons of videos of it you can watch on Youtube, it’s not nearly as effective if you aren’t in direct control of the action. It’s only 15$ on Steam, and the system requirements are low enough that it can run on just about anything. Enjoy.