Now let me talk to you about another, more recent and even more intelligent game; Stanley’s Parable. On the surface it tells the story of a man blissful in a menial office job, whose morning search for his co-workers ends with him realising his true state and freeing himself from it. This is one ending. In itself it asks questions about levels of imprisonment and would be well worth the five minute playtime, even if that was all it amounted to. The game is accompanied by a meticulously crafted voiceover; upon repeated playthroughs reveals itself to be an ironic deconstructionist satire on video games, a developer’s complaint letter to modern day gaming fan demands for sandboxes and non-linear storytelling, a comment on the nature of storytelling in fiction and the difference between passively acting in a story and creating your own story; and a societal comment on social obedience. All in the course of a five minute game. I’ve included a YouTube video. I’ve only seen this video and a bit of discussion about the game and so haven’t actually played it. It isn’t really a game, more of an exploration of interactive storytelling. Check out the video, it’ll make you think differently about video games, I guaran-damnan-tee it.
Written under duress by Steven