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The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable

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 and the narrator…

Kill Screen archive

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  • August 21st

    …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 games would be different. Doom wouldn’t have been an oddball

    March 24th

    …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 storytelling, they approach the theme from opposite directions. A story, traditionally, is a sequence of events that follows a chain

    This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2013

    …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 to a holistic reading of The Stanley Parable since its meaning only becomes apparent when viewed as a possibility space and not a single true playthrough.

    Eric Swain on his column…

    December 1st

    …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 post-launch hiccups in the press. The PS4 allowed for livestreaming, which was quickly abused.WARNING: contains description of sexual assault.

    Christopher Buecheler sums up another controversy this week, explaining…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2014

    …artists who formed it.

    The mononymous Greg described his impression of hopelessness 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…

    November 25th

    …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 Age II does right with regards of stepping away from the RPG norm. He also has a piece on…

    October 4th

    Breathe In, Breathe Out

    There were quite a few pieces this week on The Beginner’s Guide, the new title by The Stanley Parable creator Davey Wreden, but I am holding onto them until I play through it myself. I don’t usually do this — I’ve just come to accept spoilers go with the territory in this job — but I’ve tried my darnedest to follow the essays without knowing the content of the game and it’s proven fairly impossible (perhaps intentionally).

    So! Until then, I leave you with this short, relaxing montage of empty videogame environments in the rain (video).

    Episode 35 – Camp’s Signal

    …in creating a video essay, as well as the “logjam” created by trying to reconcile different facets of his personal approach to criticism.

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    Errant Signal


    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)

    Errant Signal Patreon

    Opening Theme: ‘Close’ by The Alpha Conspiracy

    Closing Theme: ‘Wishing Never’ by The Alpha Conspiracy