Orders came to him through a monitor on his desk, telling him what buttons to push, how long to push them, and in what order:

Video games, in a way, are exactly this. The quote above is one of the first lines of dialogue we hear as the game “The Stanley Parable” starts. It is not only interesting, how this phrase talks about an employee and the regularity of work, but how in a non direct way addresses the player as well. And, to be fair, the whole game is based on addressing the player by means of using a narrator who describes the actions one as Stanley takes along the game, giving the player self-awareness that he is playing a videogame but at the same time adding an odd feeling that the game is playing you (the narrator and it’s role in the game will be discussed more in depth further in this site).

As it has been mentioned earlier, there are certain rules by which one can understand video games, paidea and ludus rules; these are present in any game, to this The Stanley Parable is no exception. The games paidea rules are seen without much difficulty; the semantic paidea are, besides the programing itself, the choices which are given to the player (e.g. the right or the left door, go back or go forward, to obey or disobey any order the narrator gives, etc.), on the other hand we encounter the semantic paidea rules, these are any repercussion which is made by the choices the player might take; as said before, not only in the code of the game, but in how the choices repercute in the reaction of the narrator and also in the further choices that are presented.

This seems a bit strange though… Because according to Ang’s text, the paidea rules are the ones which are established to play the game and in this sense should not interfere with the narrative plot or fabula, but only with what is understood as spatiality; it does, the player moves for one room to another and the specialty changes, the odd characteristic is that the fabula is affected by these decisions, and the game finds a way to bring the paidea rules, the ludus rules and narrative elements together and blend them so that the game experience seems completely united.


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