GLaDOS’ Unstoppable Surveillance

After 2 game labs, and at home sessions, this gaming session was the first time that I really enjoyed playing Portal. In just one sitting I played double the amount of total time I had previously played. I definitely become more immersed and invested in a video game after I have become familiarized with its modes of play. I struggle with being thrown into new worlds on a whim and adopting the set of rules and goals specific to that place. I think this is part of why I don’t play many video games. However, I am glad that the required playing time for Portal has fostered a greater interest and appreciation in me.

This time around I did something I had never done before (nor seen anyone in class do.) I shot my portal gun at the video cameras in the test chamber. GLaDOS did not appreciate this. Each time I dislodged a video camera, she had something to say. Some examples are phrases like:

“For your own safety, do not destroy testing equipment.”

“Facility equipment may be vital to your success, please do not destroy it.”

She says these things very matter of factly, and they sound true (this is of course before she turns on the player.) This kind of programmed in response of the game increases the reality of it, allowing the player to move deeper into the space. It also reinforced this idea of surveillance.  Even when I destroyed the cameras in a testing chamber, GLaDOS could still watch my every move and comment on it. GLaDOS is watching you, but it’s for your own good. This (GLaDOS’ unstoppable surveillance) is something that maybe could clue a player in to the ending of the game. It seems that the farther one digs in Portal, the more obvious and inevitable the truth of the ending becomes.

After dislodging the cameras from the wall, I attempted to pick them up and place them on a button to open up a corridor passageway. I was able to pick up the camera and drop them on the buttons, but one camera would not hold it down. I tried adding a second one, but that did not work either. In that particular test chamber (I can’t recall the number) I was unable to locate a third camera, but I’m wondering if a third, fourth, or fifth additional camera would’ve made a difference or if the game just doesn’t work that way. I was surprised that GLaDOS had no comment on my attempts to activate the button with the cameras as well.


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