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The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable

…lays them bare, and then asks why you’re even playing it. You can’t exactly beat it, it has no easily discernible challenge, and it can diverge intentionally into what traditionally would be labelled as “bad design.”

And yet The Stanley Parable’s hammy omniscient narrator and firm grasp of videogame vernacular ultimately granted it mainstream appeal. Released in 2013, The Stanley Parable was widely covered in reviews and critical features as well as YouTube walkthroughs and let’s plays. The most iconic moment in the game comes early on, where the player, as Stanley, comes upon a pair of doors…

August 21st

…wrong. Filipe Salgado reviews The Stanley Parable, a Half-Life 2 mod, for Kill Screen. And a little more on The Stanley Parable at PopMatters, Aaron Poppleton writes “Even Winning Feels Bad: Agency in ‘The Stanley Parable.’”

Gregory Weir on his blog Ludus Novus asks, “Why so few violent games?”

In some ways, it’s a historical aberration. If Gygax and Arneson had made some war-focused game instead of Counts and Courtship, or Will Crowther had decided to entertain his kids with his obscure caving hobby instead of an exploration of his childhood friendships, perhaps the focus of our

March 24th

the typically overgeneralized demographic of shooter fans.

Tell Me a Story I’ve Never Heard Before

The blogosphere is often grappling with the way videogames deal with narrative, and this week is no different. Over at PopMatters, Mark Filipowich extrapolates how homes are underused in games as narrative contrast and our own Eric Swain teases out similarities between cinematic time jumping and that of Thirty Flights of Loving. Line Hollis talks about how Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable work as interrogations of typical narrative structures in games and the determinism therein:

“While both games are about

This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2013

…Bissell writes a letter to Niko Bellic about Grand Theft Auto V at Grantland.

Proteus co-creator Ed Key responds to contentions that his game was not a game by asking “What Are Games?”

L. Rhodes chimes in that the discussion surrounding Proteus is less to do about the experience of playing it than it does justifying Proteus.

Ian Bogost, meanwhile, wrote a trio of artisanal reviews about the game.

Line Hollis compares Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable and what they have to say about fate and a deterministic universe.

Chris Franklin aka Campster, commits…

Kill Screen archive

…haunted houses original horror videogames

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  • December 1st

    …Aeevee Bee tells us about trust and storytelling and Rogue. Eric Swain digs into the title of “Memoria”. Janine “Iris Ophelia” Hawkins says her favorite thing about AC IV is the bathroom. “If someone had simply decided that gender wasn’t an important part of this side of the game, it would have been easy to slip into using “male” as a default position”. Chris Franklin tears into the nitty gritty of what exactly The Stanley Parable is a parable for.

     

    Today’s Gaming Drama dot tumblr dot com

    Those consoles that launched are having their…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2014

    …in The Banner Saga‘s indifferent world and asked: “Can Games Teach Us to Die?”

    Interactive fiction luminary and Versu developer Emily Short had some things to say about Gone Home and the crutch of games telling their story through backstory. In a similarly literary vein, on Unwinnable Jill Scharr wondered if she is The Novelist, after trying to understand what the game has to say.

    Writing for his blog The Animist, Alex Duncan used The Stanley Parable to look at metafiction and how treating the game as a dichotomy rather than approaching it holistically leaves something to be…

    November 25th

    …film or books. And a rabbi, a rabbit and a robot walk into a bar in Jonas Kyratzes’ conversational discussion on stories in games.

    At Medium Difficulty, Adam Maresca does “A Thoroughly Modern Reading of Revolution X” a game featuring Aerosmith from the SNES. Supposedly. Maybe. Moving on. Medium Difficulty also gave us “An Ode to Stanley & Esther” by Miguel Penabella. Due to the similar structures of The Stanley Parable and Dear Esther, I’m surprised nobody has written a piece of comparative criticism before.

    Our David Carlton wrote a lengthy piece going point by point everything Dragon…

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2019

    …of new Critical Compilations, including:

    • The Last of Us by Dan Parker
    • God of War (2018) by Alon Lessel
    • Bioshock Infinite by Dante Douglas
    • The Stanley Parable by Dan Solberg
    • The Mass Effect trilogy by Emma Kostopolus
    • Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed III by Gilles Roy
    • Kentucky Route Zero by Nicholas O’Brien

    We also brought aboard Connor Weightman to bulk up our coverage of video criticism. Keep an eye out for his new This Month in Videogame Vlogging feature!

    There’s more to come, as we kick off 2020…

    Episode 35 – Camp’s Signal

    …as the “logjam” created by trying to reconcile different facets of his personal approach to criticism.

    http://www.critical-distance.com/podcast/Critical-Distance-Confab-episode-35.mp3

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    SHOW NOTES

    Errant Signal

    Half-Life

    Commentary – Half-Life

    Errant Signal – Mirror’s Edge

    Errant Signal – The Stanley Parable

    Errant Signal – Gamification

    Errant Signal – “Keep Your Politics Out of my Video Games”

    Errant Signal – Hotline Miami (Spoilers)

    Errant Signal – (Spoilers) Fallout 4 and Role Playing

    Errant Signal – The Beginner’s Guide (Spoilers)

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    Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy