The Message The Stanley Parable Tries to Send

When playing The Stanley Parable, it is obvious that the game is unique in having different endings with decision making and being able to have a different ending based on what you decide to do. I think this game takes a shot at a lot of people in our society, that everyone does what they are supposed to do, and that we shouldn’t just do what our society thinks is a part of the norm and not be afraid to go against a person that may be higher up. When we played in class, everyone wanted to go against the narrator, but in real life not many would want to go against somebody that tells them what to do. Stanley is introduced as your average employee, he is cooped up in an office only known as “employee 427” and all he does is press buttons all day and every day. I think what the designers of the game are trying to tell the players not to be Stanley. Make your own decisions and don’t be that average office employee that does the same things every day. When we finished playing in class, the first way I wanted to play the game was doing everything correctly, just to see what would happen. When the narrator tells you the code of the secret door and you go down the elevator, the narrator says that since Stanley is finding out all of these things that have been kept from him, he wants to start making his own decisions instead of being just a brainwashed office employee that does the same thing every day. This is then supported when he realizes he is a part of a company that is being completely mind-controlled. It isn’t until the end when the narrator tells you to turn off the mind control and you walk outside to a beautiful day that he says for Stanley that he will truly be happy if he makes his own decisions. This would then incline a player to want to go back and have fun with the game and listen to some of the instructions the narrator gives, but also make their own decisions to see what happens. I know if it were completely up to me, I would of played the game the first time by following the instructions, but after playing it once as a class and not listening to certain instructions, I was able to identify what message the designers of the game are trying to convey. Another way that the designers pound this message into your head is by closing the doors and not allowing you to remake your decision. In real life when you do or don’t do what you are told, you are left with the consequences of your decision whether it is a minor or serious decision. This game really allowed me to contemplate decision making as a whole, not necessarily in a video game setting. I know that I don’t want to be Stanley when I grow up, I want to be able to think for myself, make my own decisions, and not do the same things every single day.

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2 Responses to The Message The Stanley Parable Tries to Send

  1. plorei says:

    Yep, I agree. I think the way that the game gives us very few choices really highlights the value of our own decision making


  2. mjd105 says:

    I feel the same way as you do. It makes it very clear to me that doors closing behinds us almost binds us to making decisions with a little more thought than any game we have encountered before. The game shows us a look into an metafictional world that seems so unappealing that it drives us to really think about what we are doing not only in the game, but in our lives as well. As stated in the last comment the game really does highlight the value of our decisions.


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