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The Stanley Parable

June 5th

…of a good world in spite of capitalism.”

Structural Perturbations

Now, onto some analyses of games which push up against structural design trends in larger and smaller ways.

  • The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe | Ash Can Reviews Ashcan contemplates Davey Wreden’s metatextual, cyclical story, itself now on its third real-world go-round.
  • Travels to Siofra River — Gamers with Glasses Don Everhart wanders through one of Elden Ring‘s most magical, mysterious, and entirely missable locations.
  • Takeshi’s Challenge [1986] – Arcade Idea Art Maybury sits with the infamously in-on-its-own-joke, player-hostile disempowerment fantasy Takeshi’s Challenge.

New Call for Critical Compilations!

…Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2

  • Resident Evil series
  • Silent Hill series
  • The Sims
  • Sonic the Hedgehog series
  • Spelunky
  • The Stanley Parable
  • Undertale
  • The Walking Dead (Telltale)
  • Yakuza series
  • We’ll consider pitches for games outside this list, but these are the ones we’re considering high priority right now!

    PITCHES ARE NOW CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who submitted!

    Many thanks to our generous Patreon donors for helping us to promote features like these! If you want to support Critical Distance’s continued mission to promote and preserve

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    March 3rd

    Happy Sunday, readers.

    Things happened this week in games. Some really, icky, bad things. Typically I leave some space at the top here to reflect on some of these things and maybe connect them to the week’s selection of writing, but if some company somewhere, hypothetically speaking, did something particularly gross with the specific aim of generating publicity, I’d be hard-pressed to play along and indulge them with a link. You follow?

    If you haven’t checked it out already, Dan Solberg recently penned an excellent Critical Compilation on The Stanley Parable. Also, Capsule Crit just released a

    Calling for Critical Compilations!

  • Portal and Portal 2
  • P.T.
  • Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Spelunky
  • The Stanley Parable
  • The Walking Dead (Telltale)
  • The Witcher trilogy
  • We’ll consider pitches for games outside this list, but these are the ones we’re considering high priority right now!

    CALL FOR PITCHES NOW CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who submitted!

    Many thanks to our generous Patreon donors for helping us to promote features like these! If you want to support Critical Distance’s continued mission to promote and preserve good games criticism, consider adding your pledge!

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    July 30th

    …“critical fantasies of escape are essential to resistance against this carceral rhetoric. If the dungeon equates the imprisoned to the monstrous, then pieces like howling dogs, Begscape and With Those We Love Alive ask us to inhabit the skin of the monstrous, the grotesque, the pitiable. The empathy is with the kobolds hiding and scurrying, the gelatinous cubes crawling the corridors.”

    Intentionality

    Finally, I was startled to find these two pieces that both consider intentionality as a part of game design thinking, but in completely different ways.

    • The Stanley Parable, Dark Souls, and Intended…

    Episode 40 – Games literary studies on Youtube

    …specific title. We talk about that original class, the struggle of keeping up a schedule for a hobby, and the pleasure that teaching and video making have given him.

    SHOW NOTES

    Games as Literature YouTube Channel

    Games as Lit. 101 – Syllabus

    Games as Lit. 101 – Literary Analysis – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

    Games as Lit. 101 – Literary Analysis – Bioshock

    Games as Lit. 101 – Literary Analysis – Gears of War Trilogy

    Games as Lit. 101 – Literary Analysis – The Stanley Parable

    Gaming Symposium YouTube…

    Dark Souls

    …forces (him) into nonsensical loops of actions”. Michael Thomsen asks if “a 100-hour video game (is) ever worthwhile”, a question Erik Kain refutes.

    Dan Olson’s video “The Stanley Parable, Dark Souls, and Intended Play” explores Dark Souls’ capacity to anticipate confrontational player “misbehaviour”, and how its permittance of divergent approaches acts an an essential part of the text.

    For the Problem Machine, “the simple extraordinary elegance of the estus flask is often overlooked.”, and the “beloved balance of the game rests” on this healing mechanic.

    The interplay between Dark Souls’ systems often makes them…

    April 7th

    …busiest of the Brindle clan, has produced a fantastic essay on Pippin Barr’s Art Game.

    On Unwinnable, Dan Crabtree returns to the island of Dear Esther with a rumination on the convergence point of ‘understanding’ and ‘salvation.’ Dear Esther is also on Line Hollis’s mind these days, as she compares it with The Stanley Parable and how the two games approach storytelling from opposite directions.

    Gamertheories explores horror in tablet gaming with Year Walk. Our own Eric Swain poses an interesting thought experiment on the different visuality of first- and third-person “walker” games.

    On VGRevolution, Marc Price…

    October 11th

    Hello everyone. Are you having a good Sunday? I was just beginning to celebrate the cooler temperatures when suddenly my city was struck with another heat wave, so at the very least I hope you’re having a slightly more temperate weekend than me. Welcome to This Week in Videogame Blogging!

    The Beginner’s Guide

    Discussion on The Beginner’s Guide, from The Stanley Parable co-creator Davey Wreden, has begun to trickle in. I say ‘trickle,’ but really what I have for you here is half of a Critical Compilation already. Whatever you may think of it as a work,

    October 4th

    …MOBAs, this week analyzing the play maps and tactics in the ‘big three’ of the genre: DotA 2, League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm.

    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…