The Stanley Parable is a rather lovely adventure game with wiffs of Terry Gilliam's Brazil about it. It's quite thought provoking in fact. And now it's been self-censored.
The images you can see illustrating these tale have been removed from the game by the gamer makers because some consumers complained that they are racist - the images that is, not the customers. But why?Polygon
reports that, "Players are shown a character named Steven who is presented with two choices: "He could spend years helping improve the life of citizens of impoverished third-world nations," the game explains, a choice represented by Steven lighting a cigarette for a young boy wearing tattered shorts, "or he could systematically set fire to every orphan living in a 30 kilometer radius of his house," at which point Steven is shown setting the same child, now soaked in gasoline, on fire."
Satire, right? Obvious, some might even say heavy-handed satire about corporate, white imperialism. Right? You get that?
Many people didn't. One of whom was a teacher called Oilver Campbell who complained to game creator Davey Wreden who has agreed to remove the images.
"I received two separate complaints today from people who found that the images made them significantly uncomfortable," said Wreden, "and in one case made a teacher feel unable to share the game with her young students.
"It's actually really tough to respond to complaints about someone being offended, but I think I would be able to change the actual images without having to go to too much trouble (though the dialogue in that section would be very difficult to change)."
"I'm not exactly married to the visual gag there," Wreden said. "It doesn't make or break anything about that particular section, and we always wanted the game to be something that could be played by anyone of any age. If a person would feel less comfortable showing the game to their children then I've got no problem helping fix that! It's really as simple as that."
All very fair and reasonable. Sure. But it certainly also slams a nail into the lid of the box marked, 'Creative Control for everything... but Videogames'.