Thursday, November 3, 2011

Attempts at Gaming with Portal

As I am not an avid gamer or really have played any video games this century, I was definitely worried about being able to actually play a game and get past level one. After adhering to my requests that I didn’t want to play a game with shooting or murdering in it, my boyfriend helped me find one that was simple, yet interesting. Portal turned out to be a good choice and I made it to level 13 (of 19, I believe) in an hour.

The game is pretty simple once you figure out what you’re supposed to do. Wikipedia describes Portal as:

“The game primarily comprises a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player's character and simple objects using "the handheld portal device", a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes. The player-character, Chell, is challenged by an artificial intelligence named GLaDOS(Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) to complete each puzzle in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center using the portal gun with the promise of receiving cake when all the puzzles are completed. The game's unique physics allow momentum to be retained through portals, requiring creative use of portals to maneuver through the test chambers ("Portal (video-game)",20, para.2).”

The most difficult part of the whole game was working the controller! I can’t count how many times I pushed the wrong button and paused the game or ended up stuck in a corner! Baby steps…

After level 4, I was in The Flow. I knew the premise of the game and could maneuver well enough to get to the next level without much direction from my boyfriend. While it wasn’t the most exciting game I’ve ever played, it was a good start.

As discussed in class, the game would work well in a mathematic setting. Considering it’s a game on problem solving, this could tie into any course, not just math. It would be interesting to use in the classroom to aid with instruction or as a reward for completing another task. Utilizing games in the classroom has potential, if used the correct way.


Portal (video game). (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 3, 2011, from

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had an educational time. Did you only play an hour? Most students got caught in the flow and lost complete track of time.