The Stanley Parable Helpful Development Showcase is our way of connecting you to the development of The Stanley Parable by giving you a small look at what's been going on behind the scenes. Each week we'll give you a tiny peek into what it takes to make a game like The Stanley Parable, the creative challenges we come up against in the course of development, and how to not judge yourself as a person for the quality of choices you've made in your own life. These are just a few of the topics we'll cover in this incredibly useful blog series.
Noel I. of Michigan writes:
It took a full year and a half, since the original release of The Stanley Parable in 2011, but someone finally got it. Someone finally understands what The Stanley Parable is truly about.
Let me back up and explain, and I'll walk you through the secret meaning behind TSP that Noel has uncovered. This post will contain spoilers for the original Stanley Parable.
Two choices. One will save you, one will kill you.
Or is that the full story?
Because no matter which door you take, there is always death waiting down some corridor, always some gruesome fate toward which the Narrator will guide you. And then, no matter how you die, you are returned to the start. Reborn.
You are a baby, returned to the womb. And when you emerge, what do you find?
Your mother's teats, each one promising you sustenance, nutrition, life.
Or at least, that's how it's supposed to go.
Because in this world, no matter what you choose you are led once again back to the grave. Simply by choosing a door, by drinking the milk from your mother's breasts, you are doomed to die over and over and over again.
Why? Perhaps because her breasts have been corrupted by the influence of the male in this story, the Narrator. Patriarchy oppresses, it denies the woman her say, her role. No matter how she participates in this world, her child is taken from her and condemned to die. Is the Narrator your father? Perpetually attempting to wrest control of the fate of the family away from the mother? I didn't say that, you did.
When you are confronted by the crushers, and a female Narrator steps in to speak, she warns Stanley. She knows the truth, she has seen what society does to women. No matter which door, which breast Stanley chooses, he is doomed. The only option is to leave this world, as she says, “push escape and press quit.”
But is there an escape?
Down one path is a hole in the ground.
Entering into the hole, for the first time, places the Narrator at a distance, he loses his influence. And at the end of a tunnel of blackness you emerge into...
The original office, except with no Narrator. A world without man, without the patriarchal oppression. Here Stanley can once again access the two doors, but he is not forced down either path. Free to choose, to be with his mother, drink her milk, free from society.
The black hole that led to this freedom...was it a vagina? Does escape lie in the female body itself? Again, just repeating your words.
The bookcase doesn't mean anything.
Which door will you choose? And does it matter? Whichever breast you drink the life-restoring milk from, are you not simply choosing your own demise? Are you not just validating the institutionalized oppression of women? Simply by having breasts is it expected that one conform to the rigors of a patriarchal society mired in the inevitability of death and rebirth? The Stanley Parable is all of these questions and none of them, one's eternal struggle against oneself, the ruination of a society internally defiled by its own malicious foundation.
Or to put it into a single, all-encapsulating summation:
Thank you Noel. Thank you for giving me the strength to share what The Stanley Parable is really about. I hope this cleared up any and all confusion.