• Gizensha - October 28, 2008 3:30 a.m.

    An interesting perspective, but there are a couple of factual errors present which may invalidate the premise. Starting from the most obvious, the only cube with a heart, and the only cube personified, is The Weighted Companion Cube in the level where you, the other cubes in the game are Weighted Storage Cubes, and are used both before you receive the Weighted Companion Cube and after you incinerate the Weighted Companion Cube. Secondly, on the turrets, they can be defeated via a brute force approach (in some cases requiring speedy running towards them in order to get behind them before they gun you down, in other cases using a cube as a shield and knocking them over with it. And then there are those where your best bet for defeating them is to manipulate energy pellets, which in the levels they appear are usually your only means of progressing, and are very much the main male imagery of the game; if we go by the primitive Freudian analogy of the shape of the portal, they're very much a phallic symbol and require you allowing their emissions to enter into your portal in order to progress) Those are the main factual problems I think are present in the article, but there's one more issue the article has - The assumption that a character in third person is an external entity who is a puppet while one in first person is an identifiable character the player embodies, and the amount of games with male third person protagonists which would mean that those few with female third person protagonists are under your metaphor the female objectification exception to the male objectification norm. The reason I take issue with this assumption is that, if I recall the evidence I've seen correctly, it is more typical for players to not consider first person (or second person in the case of Interactive Fiction) characters in their own right, and so are more literal 'puppets' to the player to be manipulated, while third person characters tend to be more typically considered characters in their own right rather than simply a means of manipulating the virtual world the game takes place in via manipulating a puppet within that world. RE: cerdoenbrama - What's wrong with mental jerkoffs? They're fun and healthy, just like physical jerkoffs. (Yeah, I'm fond of the concept of Death of the Author. Provided no-one pretends that this sort of thing is intentional on behalf of the author without going by Word of God evidence, then I start getting tetchy about them)
  • adrenaguy - October 17, 2008 7:13 p.m.

    i liked this, was it supposed to be written as the computer? because it sure seemed like it, if it was congrats on the irony factor and jesus christ people get over youself it is a review of a game, the reviewer has a right to field his/her's opinions and need not be oppressed bysome easily offened 'tard, love it for what it is.
  • Tymiegie - October 12, 2008 6:28 a.m.

    I thought the article was compelling. It wasn't a review just a retrospective of the game and a possible artistic statement it's creators were trying to make. I don't know if it's really all that complex, but it's still interesting to think about.
  • cerdoenbrama - October 9, 2008 4:08 a.m.

    Dude I love FPS´s, I like violence, blood and killing, and I´m old school, Ié played almost everything, from wolfenstein to gears of war, I played portal and found it quite different from all the other FPS, perhaps a bit too short, but challenging and extremely cool. All that feminist crap you wrote is just a racionalization, is like we say down in México, "una chaqueta mental" (a mental jerkoff) you took the fact of the female non oversexed female as the main character and started building several layers of bullshit over it. The problem is not that, the internet is full of harmless bullshit, the real problem is that you´re ruinig the game, for me at least. I almost can see the feminazi´s forcing themselves to play portal in order to make a stupid point instead of playing it just to have some fun, like it´s supposed to be. Then every dimwit stupid enough to care about that, will put to doubt the existence of my balls just because I happen to be a male who likes a fucking feminist game.
  • Faustus - December 4, 2008 8:12 a.m.

    To Tymiegie and low_growl: Thanks for expressing civil and constructive feedback. To people like Kittie and brama... Do you people hate women? Would it KILL you people to take the effort to make constructive criticism instead of mindlessly bashing others? Do you people even KNOW the MEANING of the word feminist? The word "feminist" has been dragged through the mud in our culture and become a burning, hateful label. But you know what? A feminist is just a person who believes in EQUALITY FOR WOMEN. Is that bad? Should that make feminist a bad word? Should you hate people who use the word feminist? I think people forget the real meaning of the word feminist and so when they hear it, they start foaming at the mouth, imagining stupid stereotypes like hairy, men-hating, bra-burners. That's what it is. A STEREOTYPE. Feminist has become a dirty word associated with unfair stereotypes. I propose we use a new word for "people who believe in the equal treatment of men and women." Men-and-women-equalists. How's that? The author of this article probably spent hours writing about and analyzing games he'd played and deserves thoughtful and civil responses to his ideas of how "Portal" is a men-and-women-equalist kind of game, more so than most other games. It uses less violence to get through traps and enemies. And the game developers certainly agreed on making the main character a female, and not a female in a spandex bikini for that matter. And SO WHAT if some people think the robots sounded like little boys or little girls? Does that destroy the author's argument? ...No. No, it doesn't. This was a thoughtful, different, and brave comment on a fun game. People need to stop jumping out of their seats whenever they hear someone writing about race and gender. Seriously. And seriously, people. LOOK UP THE WORD FEMINIST. Go ask a history teacher. Look in a dictionary, look in freaking Wikipedia. Feminism is the belief that women should have the same SOCIAL and ECONOMIC status of men!!! It's not bad! And if you DO think that's bad... well, what can I say? Thanks for listening, peeps. Keep on gaming.
  • grammarnazi - November 25, 2008 12:41 a.m.

  • low_growl - September 21, 2008 10:47 a.m.

    Alright. Last things first. The guy above enjoyed Portal. He found it refreshing and a great take on today's gaming industry.He didn't say anythying about it being feminist trash. If you were implying that you thought the fact he thought the game was feminist, and therefore you think he degraded the game through your narrow standards, then your comment was voided by a subjected opinion without looking at both sides of the argument. Feminist isn't bad, it's just different. The 'love for violence' thing was bringing attention to how a majority of new games involve simply killing the target, puzzles and entertainment restricted wihtin the gaming environment by how the game was designed, so, in part, you were correct. He was merely stating that he found Portal refreshing in that it didn't need to fall into menial stereotypes of what constitutes a 'good' game to entertain. In other words, you didn't just have to kill to have fun. And the symbolism of the companion cube being male directly stipulates from the article, pulls itself from the already-discussed issues. It's a logical argument that anyone should be able to follow. Personally, I really liked the article, even if I don't personally share all of the views. It was a clever and psychological approach to a clever and psychological game. I believe that, while some of the elements were present, the freudian approach to some of the views expressed above are a little outdated, and we live in a developing society with new ways of thinking emerging and the old 'sexist' and 'feminist' views are slowly begins to be uprooted by monogonous views that have no need to express sexuality. The game itself was great, so all in all all three representatives have the same opinion, just in different thought scructures.
  • Kittie - September 14, 2008 7:24 a.m.

    Did this "guy" even play Portal? My brother, boyfriend, and I ALL played Portal together. The turrets had FEMALE voices, OBVIOUS female voices. The woman who voiced GLaDoS also voiced the turrets. And how the hell was destroying the stupid companion cube a male figure? It was a pixelated box you needed to get through the level, so you HAD to depend on it, otherwise never get through the level. And those who play first-person shooter games are not "forced" to like violence, it's how the game is designed. I'm female, and I've played Halo 1,2 and 3, Perfect Dark (N64 version), and Gears of War. I didn't love violence when I played those games, and I still don't love violence. The game was anything BUT what this guy reviewed it as, and anyone who's looking for even a half-decent review should look elsewhere. The guy who reviewed this needs to go back and actually play the game, then write a better review. Portal was a fun and interesting game, not the feminist trash he reviewed it to be.
  • MichealRein - August 5, 2009 7:58 p.m.

    ITT: Faggots OP is a massive faggot as well Its a fun game, why nitpick at it when there is nothing to pick it? Just because the main character is a girl, that doesnt make it feminist. And since when the fucking hell have guns been phallus-like?
  • silvereye - May 5, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    I think this article was very interesting and did point out a few things about the gender politics in gaming. Even so, ther is something about that jumpsuit which is good...
  • WaldoOfWhere - April 7, 2009 12:11 a.m.

    Oh ya um what about the rat man
  • WaldoOfWhere - April 7, 2009 12:09 a.m.

    LOL U guys aree freaking out about a puzzle game. And Kittie is a chick by the way to all the people that said "guy" since she said boyfriend (could be gay) No but seriosly it was a good game, fun challenging and a pretty good story. I want number 2 but in a war theme. That would be funny in multiplayer have a portal to go behind someone and assassinate them.
  • D3athW0lf - March 6, 2009 5:29 p.m.

    The fact that the character is female, the turrets have female voices an the robot has a female voice (except for the red ball at the end when ur killing it (sorry spoiler if u haven't played) which just well doesn't say anything coherent (if thats how u spell it) >.< yeh i'm male, only 19, but i love the game, playing it through for a 3rd time, also trying to get the camera shy acheivement an doin the advanced puzzles... (end song is funny) but really, it wouldnt bother me what the sex of the character or anything was, it could of been made to be able to choose the sex or change voices, then i would of spent ages making it sound funny :P and the weighted companion cube doesn't have a gender, its the same as the other cubes, cept it has a heart an u use it for longer, an also have to destroy it instead of leaving it on a button. :( poor cube :P To Gizensha: there are more ways to defeat the turrets, the game is aimed at using the portals to defeat them, either make one near it, go through an knock it over, or make one above an drop something through a portal onto it, it is also an acheivement (friendly fire) to use a turret through a portal to disable another turret, also if u want to take the damage you can try hiding behind an active turret an get shot at, and the "shield" turret takes some hits an shouts out stuff like "hey! its me!" but not sure if u can destroy turrets like that back to my main point... SO WHAT if everything is female, really?? i'd say its for anyone thats into puzzle games, the developers just wanted to make it a little different i guess. but all in all... fun game, funny aswel, an a very good puzzle :D
  • DNAndy11 - January 2, 2009 7:55 p.m.

    haha sorry (NOT a Moron) i made a mistak i thot it said Allen whoops!
  • KittenPunter - December 31, 2008 6:14 a.m.

    So this is what happens when someone with Down Syndrome over-analyzes way too much. First off, there's a little game you may have heard of called Metroid Prime. I recall that was a FPS with a female protagonist. Second, the turrets have more of a female voice then anything (Accourding to IMDB, turrets were voiced by Ellen McLain. You're a moron DNAndy11.). Companion Cube is a man?! How'd you come across that? Outside of BEING AN INANIMATE OBJECT WITH HEARTS ON THE SIDES. I'm starting to believe you just watched a gameplay montage on Youtube and just CLAIM that you played Portal. Maybe, instead of spending all those hours looking through a thesaurus looking for words to use that make you sound smarter (seriously, that whole paragraph on what First Person Shooter really means? Pointless), you should have spent them actually playing Portal.
  • DNAndy11 - December 23, 2008 3:20 a.m.

    umm actually a guy voiced the turrets look it up and ive checked on
  • chchchewy - December 12, 2008 9:33 a.m.

    I think it's a great review. Plus, I find it funny, all of it, even the comments. I honestly think that the journalist wrote it just to write something fresh and different. Not to mention the humor in an article touting of a high-ranking game's "hidden, subversive meaning" in a clear, intellectual and well thought out manner being place on such a site as this. No offense to the site (I'm an avid frequenter of its many salaciously hilarious features and pieces), but it's not the place you'd find an exposition given to women's liberation. It has links to collections of scantily clad sultry damsels, for God's sake. It's literally (In the Literary sense) ironic. I'm not saying it was done for just that sake, but I'd bet that was partially the intent. Yet, at the same time it was what it was, a piece written to illuminate a growing egalitarian perspective that's quietly stealing itself into a predominately and overtly adrenaline-filled, masculine, aggressive, and libidinous industry. But in the end, who gives a shit if it's written to support a feminist view or not? Even if it turns a stereotypical ovarian-freedom fighter to try gaming out or a 'roid frenzied manfreak into giving it up, if it's fun, it's fun, and someone's gonna wanna play it regardless if it's got a meaning to it or not, and worse yet, someone's gonna wanna do it naked. That's the world we live in. Also, your comments add to the amusement. Maybe mine will too, but the ones which reek of passionate rants of why it fails as a review because "hey-I'm-a-girl-and-don't-think-like-that" (which, by the way, is one view out of roughly 3,500,000,000 women) or "factually-you're-thesis-is-erroneous-in-such-and-such-way", your comments, I must say, are the best. You exude so much chagrin of unwarranted and inappropriate animosity in your writings it's absurd, but in a funny way. How have you been so wronged? And all for not. It is my great belief that your critical notes are the little snippets of joy these fine writers try best to bring forth. Their day isn't complete until they've pushed someone outta their comfort zone into a typing tiff. To the Writer, awesome work. Keep it up.
  • arimah - September 1, 2009 12:01 p.m.

    Though this article is nearly two years old now, I find myself really wanting to comment on it, because the OP is clearly overanalyzing just about every aspect of the game. I could mention how, for example, the Weighted Companion Cube was originally a normal Weighted Storage Cube, but playtesters frequently forgot all about it and were unable to solve that testing chamber, so Valve decided to stick a heart on it and had GLaDOS talk about it all the time. I could mention how the turrets were added to make the game more challenging, and to introduce a form of hazard that's slightly harder to avoid than both energy pellets and the gooey floor, but which nonetheless can be defeated. And their cute and adorable way of speaking is of course just a way of making it all a little bit more absurd, and a bit more memorable. But instead, I'm quite content to ask a rather simple question: what does the fact that GLaDOS is a deranged and homicidal lunatic, who killed everyone at Aperture Science, say about women?
  • IgneousSteak - July 6, 2009 8:53 p.m.

    I've just done a uni course in film and its cool to see some of the theory applied to games. This is a pretty well thought out argument, although I've only just started playing Portal, so will have to wait see if it holds water. Anybody know of any sites with more of this type of criticism. Gr should think about doing more!
  • Opdi - July 1, 2009 4:04 a.m.

    This article was obviously written for the sole purpose of stereotyping and bashing the male gender. Throughout the majority of the article men are portrayed as mindless, violent idiots who just love to go crazy shooting shit, and women as their more intelligent, non-violent counterpart. But then later the idea is presented that men are blinded by the "cold, hard LOGIC of SCIENCE" and that women are more in tune with their emotions, implying that men are indeed the more intelligent ones, but are emotionally inferior to women. Though a brief inconsistency, I think it's contradictory enough to support my argument. (I'm not trying to say either gender is superior, and generalizing either is nothing short of absolutely retarded. Don't bullshit me with statistics either, they're all meaningless coincidences.) Also, you seriously said that the game promotes feminism because the main character walks through vaginae. LOL TL;DR: HOLY FEMINAZI BATMAN

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