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When game geekdom goes mainstream

When game geekdom goes mainstream

Weighted Companion Cube cake

There are various phrases that mean nothing to most of the population, but if you whisper it, some people’s eyes light up…

  • Weighted Companion Cube
  • Aperture Science
  • the cake is a lie

These all relate to a fantastic game called Portal, released in 2007. It’s a small physics-based 3D puzzler, but it really does suck you into its world and the sense of accomplishment you get after finishing one of its twenty puzzles is – well, I haven’t had that sense since my A-Level Maths homework. The game has risen and risen in cult popularity, to the point when poor wives of Portal addicts are reduced to four hours of work in baking a Weighted Companion Cube cake for their birthday.

So it was a bit of a shock to be walking through Westfield London – a shopping mall far better known for its unceasing range of dull fashion and beauty shops – and find a demo stand dedicated to showing off Portal 2, the sequel to this stunning game. Almost as much of a shock as it was for the poor tweenagers who saw a new game, but couldn’t figure out who they needed to shoot or run over to play.

So, there’s a new game that I want to play come mid-April. How am I going to grapple with turrets AND a four-month-old baby at the same time? I haven’t even picked up the controller since Alex oozed out – and the Wii and Goldeneye still sit forlornly in the corner… maybe this idea will help

But in the meantime, let’s hear that fab Portal finale song again:

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