The Stanley Parable Maker Promises to Change "Racist" Image

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The Stanley Parable Maker Promises to Change "Racist" Image

The Stanley Parable racist image

The creator of The Stanley Parable says an in-game image that players have found offensive will be changed.

Deep within the bowels of The Stanley Parable exists an in-game instructional video entitled "Choice." You can watch it yourself on YouTube, starting at around the 3:30 mark, but the short version is that it talks about the power of choice and how it can be used for both good or ill, using as an example a "hypothetical real person named Steven," rendered in pencil-style as a very white guy in a shirt and tie.

"He could spend years helping improve the quality of life for citizens of impoverished third-world nations," the narrator states overtop an image of Steven lighting a cigarette for a small, smiling, dark-skinned boy. "Or he could systematically set fire to every orphan living in a 30-kilometer radius of his house."

That second statement is accompanied by an image of Steven holding a gas can in one hand while he sets the same boy, who seems to still be smiling, on fire. That didn't go over well with player Oliver Campbell, not because a child was being immolated, but because he felt it was racist. He contacted Stanley Parable creator Davey Wreden with his concerns, and Wreden agreed to update the sequence.

Wreden told Polygon that he received two complaints from people who claimed the images made them "significantly uncomfortable," which he said caught him off-guard because he thought they were "too cartoony to identify as problematic." Nonetheless, he thinks the segment can be changed without too much trouble and added, "If a person would feel less comfortable showing the game to their children then I've got no problem helping fix that!"

"It took a bit of explanation, but [Wreden] did understand the nature of my complaint, and I offered ways of fixing this without destroying the joke or a prohibitively expensive additional amount of work," Campbell said in a separate email. "He explained that he didn't quite understand, but was more than willing to listen, and that it's very hard for a creative to figure out which player requests to pay attention to."

Wreden said he hopes to have the sequence changed "in the coming weeks."

Source: Polygon

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I'm not sure the joke will work with a white kid. Or without the immolation. I just can't see a way to change the joke without lessening its effectiveness.

No one has a sense of humor anymore. Everyone has such thin skin. Lets turn eeeveerything into a racist issue.

Because black kids AREN'T poor and "expendable" in modern society? Oh wait...

Oh, no, such a horrible transgression of free speech! The artistic integrity is ruined! Ruined!

Surely, he must have been forced to take the decision to change it, no doubt by a feminist death squad.

The thing is, if this picture were on 9Gag whoever it is that's complaining would have called this picture hilarious. Who is honestly offended by this picture? And explain to me why?

I'm sure the actual starving third-world children appreciate the dedication to political correctness.

Must this be so difficult to understand?

It is called a joke.

To change it would destroy the point of the image, might as well just take it out then. Thank you PC for another pointless destruction of art. Can we choose not to get the stupid update?

I'm still trying to figure out what exactly was offensive about it. It would help if we actually knew what aspect that Campbell and the other person found offensive, because right now it sounds more like someone being hypersensitive. I think the other thing that gets to me is that were this an issue in which Wreden got several complaints about, I could see him consider the possibility of changing the image. Only two people complaining? I'm not sure I would do the same thing if I were in his position.

I'm thinking they should pull a South Park and stick something worse in.

Oddly enough the racist imagery rather suits the situation, as giving cigarettes as aid is a rather 50's 'credit to his race' style of thinking and in-line with the art style.

But... Isn't that the joke?

I don't...

Really understand. But Maybe someone will elaborate clearly.

I feel like the context goes away the second the skin color does, and the humor just goes away. It's not funny because it's a racist joke, it's funny because it's pretty much satire.

CAPTCHA: like the dickens

...

Yes captcha, just like the dickens.

Because it was a BLACK child being immolated by a WHITE man! I don't care about context or humor, THAT'S RACIST!

I understand that it's usually jerkbags who go on to talk about "Hurr durr da victermized white man!" usually after screaming about the evils of "political correctness", but this comes across as nothing else but a knee-jerk reaction by a complete pussy.

My question is, would the pussy in question have cried to Wreden if it were a BLACK man lighting a WHITE child on fire?

Without context, I would actually agree with the pussy. Due to the historical luggage of anglo-african relations it should be offensive. But that's the magic of CONTEXT, children - in the game the joke was that "steven" could either be sympathetic and help the destitute and impoverished or add to their list of problems. "Third world orphan" could have been replaced with "The homeless" or "a puppy" and still get the point across. It was not reliant on race, "3rd world orphan" is just another stock character in an entire reserve of common and often-used caricatures of people who are pitiable and in need (i.e. the homeless, injured puppies and kittens, wounded war veterans, street urchins (a la "Tiny Tim"), etc.).

I mean, it would be like suing your parents for saying "I bet there's starving children in Ethiopia who would have eaten your vegetables!". Because when most people think of "starving children in third-world countries" they do NOT think of bone-thin ethiopians or bloated, sickly children dying from malaria in a god-forsaken sub-saharan wasteland. Of course not. Not with our political-correctness blinders, that is!

I'm not for "LOL, 'MURKA LAND 'ER DA THREE AND WE KIN SAY ANY FUKKIN SHIT WE WANT CUZ DA FIRZT AMENDERMENT! THERE IS NO RULZE!", although I do enjoy and appreciate the first amendment, but I hate the implied dishonesty that underlies many of these "THAT'S RACIST!" outcries.

Now imagine the backslash if he was putting a puppy on fire.

I wonder, would it be racist if the adult dude was black? Or would it make things worse? How about a Klingon kid?

Rabble rabble rabble, I am offended that that they're going to remove it.

You know what's the most racist thing about this? If that kid was white everybody would have taken the joke for what it was and not given a damn, but because he's not, that's somehow a problem.

Oh noes, two whole people were offended out of the thousands that played it, hurry to fix it so TWO FUCKING PEOPLE will feel comfortable.

Well I was planning on buying this game when I got my paycheck but I think I will try to support devs who arent pathetic.

Wait, oh wow, I just had an amazing thought.

Guys, the guys who made this game our known to subvert expectations. I mean look at the game the made.

What if this is a set up for another joke? Like he's going to replace the white guy with a white guy dressed as the KKK or something like that? Or maybe he's going to throw a big "censored" block on their.

Desert Punk:
Oh noes, two hole people were offended out of the thousands that played it, hurry to fix it so TWO FUCKING PEOPLE will feel comfortable.

Well I was planning on buying this game when I got my paycheck but I think I will try to support devs who arent pathetic.

How to over-react on the internet :P I don't think that one small change to a game to dampen potential backlash is world-ending. A bit peeve-inducing, sure, but uh... I don't know.

Ferisar:

Desert Punk:
Oh noes, two hole people were offended out of the thousands that played it, hurry to fix it so TWO FUCKING PEOPLE will feel comfortable.

Well I was planning on buying this game when I got my paycheck but I think I will try to support devs who arent pathetic.

How to over-react on the internet :P I don't think that one small change to a game to dampen potential backlash is world-ending. A bit peeve-inducing, sure, but uh... I don't know.

Over-racting would be demanding a refund. Deciding to spend my money on people I respect more is hardly an over-reaction. Not quite sure how not giving my money to people who fall over themselves to appease two people is over reacting...

Also changing part of the game becuase two people are whiny idiots is a bit of an over-reaction as well.

Doopliss64:
I'm not sure the joke will work with a white kid. Or without the immolation. I just can't see a way to change the joke without lessening its effectiveness.

This. The entire crux of the joke is the massive dichotomy of action in exactly the same situation.

Changing the immolation to a different coloured child wrecks the joke.

Of course, they could fix this by using a "CENSORED" box or by turning Steven black. :D

What's this!? A BLACK KID!

WE HAVE TO GET RID OF THAT IMMEDIATELY!

IT WOULD BE RACIST TO HAVE A BLACK KID!!

Ahahahahahaha.

I've really got nothing else, I find these implications just absolutely hysterical. I don't mind the change, I don't believe the joke will lose its punch and if anything, I'm hoping it'll mean that the joke will be even darker and more twisted.

I mean, TSP's genius lies in its fairly non-offensive sense of humor and cleverness, but some of the darker humor in it REALLY shines through to me.

In a few minutes, it could be tasteful.

Since we're changing the game based on complaints from the community, can I get in on this?

Can we make Stanley black? I mean, all the other characters in the game, including both Narrators, are white. This offends me.

Well, it's a simple fact that we're not living in that perfect world where there's full racial equality. Sometimes, people simply have to take a step back and try and see how media looks from a different perspective because it might be doing more harm than was intended.

I'm... confused. When I first saw it I figured it was satirizing the idealized version of the 50's many people have that tends to steadfastly ignore the gross conformity and casual sexism/racism of that decade. "Father knows best," and all that. It's basically another clue-in that something's not right here. At this point the narrator is asking you to engage in an odd sort of double-think, i.e. you should exercise your free will, but only if you exercise it in the way he wants. On the surface the image is helping to extol the benefits of choosing to conform, but in a way that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

So... yeah. I'm not a person of color so I don't want to marginalize an experience of oppression I can't relate to... but I just didn't find this to be inappropriate considering how much this game messes with ideas and expectations.

Remember, if you're going to set a kid's head on fire you better make sure that kid is the same race as you or it could be offensive. It's worse to be racist than a guy who sets a kid's head on fire.

Wait hold up I have a question.

Was there any narration or lead up or comment by the game that occurs when said player approaches said picture that has the intention of malice towards said race? Because if not then it is just a picture then and the outrage is nothing more than people imposing their own morality onto the game.

That's my whole beef with the sexist, racist, whatever complaints. Most of the time the person making the complaint is imposing their own personal morality, agenda, or beliefs onto others where they should have no place towards. The act of racism requires the act of malice or prejudice or belief of said prejudice for it to actually be racist. An image by itself does not instantly mean what you interpret it to mean.

Not enough black characters in video games.

It's racist to put a black person in a video game.

Heads I win, tails you lose.

Basic rule for bringing about political change: you do not get rid of racism by preventing people from talking about race.

I haven't played the game, it's on my hitlist, but I'm under the status ailment of "dirt-poor" right now, but... I'm really not seeing how this is racist, at least not from what I read on the article. Makes you wonder if it would've been called "sexist" if it was a girl getting burned instead.

Oh god damn it, not again.
I'm just going to not download any updates for the game. Nothing in the narration referred to the child's race, I assumed it was just supposed to be an image of 'some 3rd world kid', not a racist statement. Although the stereotypical 50's white person might indicate towards the parody of 50's values which did include racism. So what I'm really saying is it's either a parody of the views, and therefore okay, or just a representation of a 3rd world child, and therefore okay.

DVS BSTrD:
Because black kids AREN'T poor and "expendable" in modern society? Oh wait...

maybe he should have used an impoverished silvester stallone...?

jason statham works too. he is already in every 3rd grade action flick of this generation.

Desert Punk:

Ferisar:

Desert Punk:
Oh noes, two hole people were offended out of the thousands that played it, hurry to fix it so TWO FUCKING PEOPLE will feel comfortable.

Well I was planning on buying this game when I got my paycheck but I think I will try to support devs who arent pathetic.

How to over-react on the internet :P I don't think that one small change to a game to dampen potential backlash is world-ending. A bit peeve-inducing, sure, but uh... I don't know.

Over-racting would be demanding a refund. Deciding to spend my money on people I respect more is hardly an over-reaction. Not quite sure how not giving my money to people who fall over themselves to appease two people is over reacting...

Also changing part of the game becuase two people are whiny idiots is a bit of an over-reaction as well.

Yes because when he says "he thinks the segment can be changed without too much trouble" obviously means they are falling over themselves to appease two people. They clearly discussed it in a civil matter and they felt like some changes should be made without losing the point of it, that means there a bunch of whiny idiots right? You might be over-reacting here a bit.

I'm starting to think people don't read the article and/or the source and just see the title "The Stanley Parable Maker Promises to Change "Racist" Image" and have to get angry about what is a non issue.

My reaction when I saw it was not of racism but apparently there are those who felt there was something there and I don't speak for people of a certain race nor should anyone but there were people who felt like there was something wrong and neither you nor I have the right to tell them how they should feel.

Now if and when they make the change and the meaning becomes lost then yes I feel then that there is a right to complain.

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