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Author Topic: Portal to become required reading?  (Read 1181 times)

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Offline CombiconTopic starter

Portal to become required reading?
« on: August 26, 2010, 10:29:31 PM »
I figure I'll give you guys the link to the actual website I got this from incase you'd rather read it there: http://www.i4u.com/38358/portal-becomes-required-reading-college-say-what

Quote
Well here's something you don't see every day. A college in Indiana has added Valve's instant-classic PC game Portal to its list of required reading.

That's right - alongside Hamlet and The Epic of Gilgamesh, students will be encouraged to experience Portal as one of the defining pieces of work in American culture.

Professor Michael Abbott came up with the idea and believe it or not, administrators at his school, Wabash College, agreed. Those who are not in tune with the gaming world needn't worry, as a "collective playthrough" of the game will be part of the class.

For now, it is only being included in the curriculum for a couple of test classes, but Abbott is hopeful it will quickly become a defined part of the undergraduate experience at Wabash.

Portal is an intoxicating strategy game that most gamers can finish in a couple hours. Nevertheless, it has gained attention for having an addictively simple game style and a highly unique story. It takes place in a post-war research facility and takes a lot of dark, though humorous, turns along the way.

Although it was critically acclaimed, certainly no one could have expected that Portal would be the first game to receive such a distinction. The game's writers must feel pretty proud right now.

Do you think video games deserve to be put up alongside required reading lists?
Portal is a pretty short game, sure, but would you say it's really that good?

I'm not complaining of course, I'd love to have video games (especially Portal) made required in schools, but I was wondering what you guys would think.
Is it really as good as work like Hamlet?

Offline Wolfy

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 10:31:44 PM »
And what will happen when Portal 2 comes out? Will that become required 'reading' too, or will it be dismissed as worst than it's predecessor? :P

Offline Starlequin

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2010, 06:28:38 AM »
Perhaps this will inspire students to finally realize...the grade is a lie.

Offline Brandon

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2010, 06:46:34 AM »
I believe that video games are a new kind of art. That said, I also think much like books and movies they can and will effect culture in profound ways. ALthough if its defined as required reading then couldnt movie screenplays and scripts become the same thing? Seems to me like were entering a sort of slippery slope

However, Im happy about it. Portals a great game and deserves recognition

Offline Alzire

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2010, 07:17:37 AM »
I'm wondering when Gilgamesh and Hamlet became American culture.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 11:21:41 AM »
From what little I've heard about it, Portal is one of the few games that puts forth a moral decision that is supposed to be uncomfortable in order to win the game, as well as a 'reward' that becomes increasingly suspect as the game goes on.  I think that actually distinguishes it from the crowd as being 'worth' analyzing in a classroom setting.

(Oh, and in response to the comment on films, my British History class had 'required viewing' of things like 'The Lion in Winter', Olivier's 'Richard III',  and Monty Python's 'Holy Grail'.)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 11:25:01 AM by Oniya »

Offline Wolfy

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2010, 11:28:17 AM »
From what little I've heard about it, Portal is one of the few games that puts forth a moral decision that is supposed to be uncomfortable in order to win the game, as well as a 'reward' that becomes increasingly suspect as the game goes on.  I think that actually distinguishes it from the crowd as being 'worth' analyzing in a classroom setting.

(Oh, and in response to the comment on films, my British History class had 'required viewing' of things like 'The Lion in Winter', Olivier's 'Richard III',  and Monty Python's 'Holy Grail'.)

Yes Oniya.

I was traumatized when I had to burn my companion cube.

*hugs Oniya* It's going to be ok.

Offline Nyarly

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2010, 11:34:29 AM »
Personally, I didn't fell anything, when I burned it. Of course, I knew about that part beforehand...

Offline Oniya

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Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2010, 11:35:34 AM »
I'm sure that many people who play it are just like 'Oh, I'm supposed to burn it?  Okay.' *chucks it in the incinerator*  The point is that the character is supposed to have gotten semi-attached to the cube.  :P

I haven't actually played it, but I read the walkthrough just so I could understand the references that were cropping up everywhere - and the gamer in me is amused by the idea of a 'collective playthrough'.  I'm seeing these college students gathered around a couple of systems yelling 'Go left!  Go right!  Look out! Getitgetitgetit!'

Offline Wolfy

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2010, 11:41:33 AM »
And then they all collectively sing "Still Alive" at the end of the semester. :P

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2010, 11:46:56 AM »
I'm wondering when Gilgamesh and Hamlet became American culture.

Everyone knows Shakespeare was Klingon.

I am inclined to agree with Jude in that video games are an art form and are, therefore, worth being viewed from that perspective.  Not every book is a literary classic.  So why should video games be judged by the countless, soon forgotten time wasters that fill the market?

When I see something on a 'required reading' list, I am not immediately convinced that it even has to be 'good'.  Great Gatsby, I'm looking at you.  To me, it just means that particular piece is of some significance.

But then, rules, requirements and even definitions are more malleable to me that it seems most others.  The world seems to be in constant flux to me, so I happily embrace change and challenging the status quo.

Offline Nyarly

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2010, 11:49:10 AM »
The world seems to be in constant flux to me, so I happily embrace change and challenging the status quo.
Not just to you. After all, the world is in constant flux.

Offline Wolfy

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2010, 11:53:43 AM »
Look, if Twilight can be made Required reading,then Portal damn sure meets the requirements. o3o

Offline Oniya

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Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2010, 12:24:04 PM »
When I see something on a 'required reading' list, I am not immediately convinced that it even has to be 'good'.  Great Gatsby, I'm looking at you.  To me, it just means that particular piece is of some significance.

Hear, hear!  (Sometimes it's just a yellow car.)

Look, if Twilight can be made Required reading,then Portal damn sure meets the requirements. o3o

That reminded me - my little one has to earn 'AR' points by reading books through the year.  Each book on The List is given a grade level and a number of points that it is worth, and The List is provided for grades 1 through 12.  Apparently, Twilight is written at a 4th grade reading level.

Offline Wolfy

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2010, 01:41:06 PM »
That. Is. Hilarious.

Also disturbing..for now 4th grade girls will believe that guy that is stalking them actually 'loves' them. O_o

Offline Ryven

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Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2010, 02:05:14 PM »
I believe that video games are a new kind of art. That said, I also think much like books and movies they can and will effect culture in profound ways. ALthough if its defined as required reading then couldnt movie screenplays and scripts become the same thing? Seems to me like were entering a sort of slippery slope

However, Im happy about it. Portals a great game and deserves recognition

I had required movies to watch when in classes.

Offline Merlyn

Re: Portal to become required reading?
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2010, 02:57:28 PM »
I almost think that it needs to be looked at differently than playing the game.  It's more of a collective effect on culture, by types of games.  I mean did any one game really influence culture?  But it may just be because I hated portal... still alive was the only good that came of that game.