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Ladies and gentlemen: DIGITAL SPORTS

Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA (what's a MOBA? | comprehensive history of MOBAs) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International (whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars. While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream the esports craze with helpful noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final and a simulcast on ESPN, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility and a very steep learning curve. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary [playable transcript] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS, Bastion's Rucks, and... a pirate. DIGITAL SPORTS!
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 21, 2014 - 47 comments

That thing the sun does that makes it so hot

GLaDOS teaches fusion and fission for NASA. Ellen McLain lends her autotuned voice to IRrelevant Astronomy, a video series produced as part of the education & public outreach mandate of the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope. [via]
posted by figurant on Feb 27, 2014 - 6 comments

Level Up

Untold Riches: An Analysis Of Portal’s Level Design, from RPS, who have been looking at level design in their Level With Me series of interviews. Meanwhile Valve will be announcing something Monday morning - probably not Half Life 3.
posted by Artw on Sep 20, 2013 - 107 comments

14265​68d3d​4880b​a427b​c48ef​d11ce​3a

Alternate Reality Game puzzle design - Adam Foster of Valve talks about the design of the Portal 2 ARG, (previously)  and do's and don'ts for future ARGs.
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2013 - 10 comments

Doing What We Could Because We Can.

Wayside Creations: the studio that produced the surprisingly high-budget fallout Fan series: Nuka Break (with Dougie Jones!) (previously, previously) have turned their attention to the office politics of our favorite hive of mad science: Aperture R&D.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 18, 2013 - 15 comments

I'm A Princess

French group Golden Mustache contemplates the sex lives of various video game characters (video, English subtitles, surprisingly SFW, wait for Tetris)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 17, 2013 - 23 comments

"Dad, have you ever heard of Portal?" "I've had Portabella Mushrooms..."

Dan writes about games for a living. Dan's dad does not play games. Dan plays games with his dad. Much amused frustration is had by both parties. 2011, 2012, 2013. Individual Youtube videos after the jump. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Feb 19, 2013 - 47 comments

I'm different. I'm searching.

"The Turret Anthem" - Portal turrets get their revenge. (SLYT)
posted by i less than three nsima on Jan 27, 2013 - 19 comments

A strong contender for Drug Wars' top spot

This is a video of a game which replicates Portal's physics system in 2 dimensions on the TI-83 graphic calculator. The game was developed by a 20 year old student studying game design. A download link is available here.
posted by codacorolla on Dec 6, 2012 - 22 comments

The Video Games Women Make

"The experiences of women may not be easy to portray in the aggressive world of videogames. If such a game is made - and I hope it is - it will be because its creators demanded to be heard. It will be created because women made it." (Source)
While the vast majority of video game titles are designed primarily by men, women have been a part of video game development since the earliest arcades. Here are some of their games: [more inside]
posted by subject_verb_remainder on Dec 1, 2012 - 40 comments

YOU COULD TRIP AND FALL

PLEASE STOP RUNNING [more inside]
posted by Smart Dalek on Sep 7, 2012 - 12 comments

This could be the biggest triumph ...

Teach With Portals. Last summer, a New York Times review of Portal 2 made the following prediction: "Somewhere out there an innovative, dynamic high school physics teacher will use Portal 2 as the linchpin of an entire series of lessons and will immediately become the most important science teacher those lucky students have ever had." With Teach With Portals, Valve's new education initiative, this just might be possible. [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand on Jun 21, 2012 - 45 comments

Blue to orange and back again

With a little bit of help from Aperture Laboratories, these guys created a real Portal gun.
posted by disillusioned on Jun 12, 2012 - 41 comments

Cave Prime from Earth One

25 extra minutes of Cave Johnson - taken Portal 2's Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC.
posted by Artw on May 11, 2012 - 33 comments

Science isn't about why - it's about why not

No GLaDOS. No Chell. No portals. Set in the 1980s. Competitive multiplayer. Multiple endings. The Portal 2 That Could Have Been.
posted by Artw on Mar 9, 2012 - 44 comments

You're not a scientist. You're not a doctor. You're not even a full-time employee! Where did your life go so wrong?

Mari0 is a fan-made mash-up of Nintendo and Valve Software's games, with a 4-player co-op mode and a level editor. And as a nod to Team Fortress, there are hats. Downloadable for PC, OS X and Linux.[via]
posted by Smart Dalek on Mar 4, 2012 - 23 comments

Don't You Want Your Big Nice Cake?

The Nightmare Before Christmas' " This Is Halloween " sung by everyone's favorite turrets and murderous AI in " This Is Aperture "
posted by The Whelk on Jan 28, 2012 - 13 comments

Don't become too attached to it, because an insane AI will force you to throw it in a fire when it dries out 12 days from now.

Behold, the Aperture Science Holiday Enrichment Topiary.
posted by schmod on Dec 25, 2011 - 11 comments

This cake is not a lie

Have you every wanted to try GLaDOS' chocolate cake or S’Jirra’s Famous Potato Bread with a Nirnroot Salad? We've got Starkos straight from the streets of Hillys, and steak skewers prepared in Inaba's finest lunch stops. If you're thirsty we've got some NukaCola Quantum or Lon-Lon Milk, and there's always FK in the coffee. All these recipes and more from your favourite virtual worlds can be found at Gourmet Gaming
posted by yellowbinder on Oct 26, 2011 - 38 comments

Apple - Introducing GLaDOSiri on iPhone 4S

Apple - Introducing GLaDOSiri on iPhone 4S (SLYT)
posted by Vibrissa on Oct 12, 2011 - 63 comments

The Princess is a Lie....You Monster.

Mari0 is a Super Mario Bros and Portal mashup currently under development. Previously, the same developer made Not Tetris; a faithful reimagining of the original game, but with the addition of realistic physics and geometry.
posted by schmod on Sep 1, 2011 - 21 comments

Welcome to the Enrichment Center for Aperture Science Laboratories

Portal: No Escape (SLYT, via)
posted by zarq on Aug 23, 2011 - 42 comments

The (wedding) Cake is (not) a lie.

This was a triumph. A very special, very custom Portal 2 mod serves as Gary Hudston's proposal to his girlfriend Stephanie. He commissioned Douglas “TopHATTwaffle” Hoogland and Rachel “Miss Stabby” van der Meer and a the talents of a special guest as the icing on the cake. Via RPS.
posted by Verdant on Aug 22, 2011 - 85 comments

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

" ... there is a depth of field technique with a controllable aspect called 'bokeh,' which describes a certain quality of blur that we often notice in the more luminous parts of a film’s background and that varies considerably with lens and camera type. Bokeh is a photography term derived from the Japanese boké- blur, haze ... When implemented in games the technique encapsulates a certain kind of second-order removal from reality. We are simulating not the way things look, but how they look after they have been filtered through the eye of a camera." Independent game developer Mathew Burns takes a look at how video games reflect reality in his account of the 2011 Game Developer's Conference. Burns also writes the blog Magical Wasteland. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Aug 22, 2011 - 28 comments

Cake. Regret.

Outside Aperture
posted by rodgerd on Jun 1, 2011 - 43 comments

Intelligence and imagination vs a light show for cattle

Hollywood shuns intelligent entertainment. The games industry doesn't. Guess who's winning?
posted by Artw on May 23, 2011 - 254 comments

The following thread is in *massive* spoiler quotes

Portal 2 has finally hit the streets, and despite a somewhat rocky start with their controversial promotional ARG (previously), it looks to be a huge success. Interestingly for such a critically-acclaimed blockbuster, the title's core ideas steam from a pair of concept projects from student design school DigiPen: the original portal system from Narbacular Drop (video - download - previously) and the sequel's physics-altering gels from Tag: The Power of Paint (video - download - previously - previouslier). Combine these innovative ideas with some Lost-meets-Life After People level design, excellent voice acting, and top-notch writing, and it's easy to see why so many people called in sick this past week. But playing the game is just the beginning -- look inside for a collection of easter eggs, story theories, videos, and other goodies from the post-mortem. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 21, 2011 - 425 comments

Soft and sweet and shaped like a potato

You say potato, Valve say... potato.

Just over a year after the Portal 2 announcement ARG (previously) had people dialing up a mysterious BBS, on April 1st Valve pushed out updates to thirteen indie games through Steam, under the tag #potatofoolsday. Some of the games got a little starchy straight away, but more interesting was the appearance of cryptic glyphs, which seemed to link to other games in the set, and nonsense phrases. Alongside a cheeky coded shoutout to members of the Facepunch forums, a hidden frame in the latest Aperture Science Investment Opportunity video (1, 2, 3) appeared to confirm there are 16 glyph-and-letter sets, and 13 phrases to be found in and around the games. But what to do with them even when the set's complete? And what of the uplifted talking raccoon and the blogger whose boss's brother has been kidnapped by sentient potatoes? [more inside]
posted by emmtee on Apr 6, 2011 - 115 comments

Ah. A 3 dimensional person at last!

Something has happened to the world. Everything has been flattened into 2D - except you. Now the world needs you to put things back to normal. Antimatiere is a small puzzle game where you move 2D objects around on walls and floors to solve problems. It also has a slight resemblence to Portal in that placing doors and windows punches holes through the mentioned walls, allowing you to pass between different rooms. Warning: Requires the Unity Web Player plugin to run. [more inside]
posted by ymgve on Mar 9, 2011 - 35 comments

I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS

Meet the Gifford Children's Choir out of Racine, Wisconsin as they perform Still Alive from Portal. [more inside]
posted by Evilspork on Dec 18, 2010 - 42 comments

Charity game "Chime" launched for PC, featuring guest vocals by GLaDOS

While controversy erupts again over the corrupting influence of video games, some developers are working on projects it is very hard to get angry about. Chime, an XBox game to be released for PC tomorrow, is one such project. [more inside]
posted by DNye on Sep 5, 2010 - 18 comments

Wheeeeeeeee!

It's well-known at this point that Valve Software hired the team of Digipen students who made Narbacular Drop to turn their student project into Portal. But even people who drooled over the new mechanics in the Portal 2 E3 videos may not be aware that Valve has hired another team out of Digipen for that. If you're looking for a preview, you should probably download and play Tag, the game the new mechanics are based on, in which you explore a grey, cell-shaded world by spraying paint on it.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jun 17, 2010 - 28 comments

Clyde "Champion" Barrow Gang Collection

Mr, KIng
So Raymond Hamilton never killed anybody. If he can make a jury believe that I8m willing to come in and be tryed my self. Why dont you ask Ray about those two policemen that got killed near Grapevine? And while you are at it better talk it over with his girl friend. Bonnie and me were in missouri when that happened but where was Ray? coming back from the West bankjob wasn't he? Redhot too wasn8t he? I got it straight. And ask him about that escape at Eastham farm where that gard was killed. Giess he claims he doesn't know fire any shots there don8t ge? Well if he wasnt too dum to know how tp put a clip in a automatic he'd hace fired a lot more shots and some of the rest of the gards would got killed too. He wrote his lawyer he was too good for me and didnt go my pace, well it makes a me sick to see a yellow punk like that playing baby ad making a jury cry over him either/ He stuck his fingerprint on a letter so heres mine too just to let you know thjis is on the leve;
X Clyde
posted by mrducts on May 21, 2010 - 21 comments

Steam for Mac

Steam, the hugely popular online videogame distribution network, is now available for the Mac. MeFi favorite Portal is also free via the service (both Mac and PC) until the 24th. (previously)
posted by mkultra on May 12, 2010 - 246 comments

Game-Inspired Music

Anyone who grew up playing video games understands the impact of the music. But the internet has allowed all sorts of people to express their love in many different ways. [more inside]
posted by restless_nomad on Mar 19, 2010 - 33 comments

TF2 on a Mac?

Hang on: Steam is coming to Macs. Christ. [more inside]
posted by hnnrs on Mar 3, 2010 - 114 comments

There's just a bit more to Valve's recent Portal Update...

On Monday, Valve software issued a small patch for Portal. A New achievement ("Transmission Received") for the game was unlocked if 26 radios in the game were carried to the end of the levels. Each radio had it's own sound file, and concealed in those sound files were Morse code, pictures, and an md5 hash string containing a phone number which, if called via modem, has an interesting login (from Gladios 3.11) and seems to be streaming some strange ascii art.
posted by Catblack on Mar 2, 2010 - 130 comments

Now you're thinking with science.

Ever wonder how the physics of Portal's portals worked? Or how Mario could walk on space rocks in Super Mario Galaxy? Games Demystified seeks to answer these pressing questions, with code samples and working demos. [more inside]
posted by hellojed on Nov 7, 2009 - 8 comments

Bonus Level

bonus level is a new flash gaming portal. Games include Captain Dan V Zombie Plan, reminiscent of Berzerk, Push, an unusual platformer that combines level manipulation with quick-reflex timing and jumping, Jump Gear, an acrobatic timed racer and a ton more I haven't even tried yet. What sets bonus level apart from other gaming portals is that it's headed by three great names in game development, Wouter Visser (Wouter), Tõnu Paldra (tonypa) and Jean-Philippe Sarda (JP). Part of their philosophy is allowing anyone who registers to make and share levels for their games, as well as giving budding designers access to the flash APIs used to create all of bonus level's games.
posted by boo_radley on Jul 8, 2009 - 7 comments

DIY Portal Gun. Making a note here: huge success.

DIY Portal Gun on flickr, with a few other pictures and build notes. You want of your own, you can either contact this guy or just ask Aperture about working at their test facilities.
posted by Greg Nog on Jan 21, 2009 - 61 comments

Keeping the rest of your hands busy

So you've spent the holidays playing games, but now you have to be back at work. How to get your gaming fix during commutes and lunch-hours, whilst keeping up with that resolution to Learn Something New this year? Well, you could make a Sack-Boy. You can keep your portable games device warm with a Zelda cosy. You can knit up a Pacman scarf or a Space Invaders bag or socks if you're feeling retro. Or you can make a pocket ninja, an invincibility star to get you through the afternoon, a maqgnetic Katamari ball to spring-clean that desk, or a friendly companion cube. (and if you're too cack-handed to knit, you can sew a friendly cube with the pattern here and tutorial here!)
posted by mippy on Jan 4, 2009 - 13 comments

Better Run Run Run

Nostalgic for a time when robots tried to kill you while being condescending? Well, Hunted Forever isn't Portal, but if you're jonesing for some Flash Friday, it might be right up your alley.
posted by 235w103 on Nov 28, 2008 - 15 comments

Portals Between Earth and Sun Open Every Eight Minutes

Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth. "Like giant, cosmic chutes between the Earth and sun, magnetic portals open up every eight minutes or so to connect our planet with its host star. Once the portals open, loads of high-energy particles can travel the 93 million miles (150 million km) through the conduit during its brief opening, space scientists say." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 5, 2008 - 34 comments

This cake's not a lie

Do you miss blasting with your orange and blue space-warping cannons? Surely you miss Companion Cube... Nine months of work by a dedicated modder: NykO18 (and team) has crystallized into what amounts to an epic prequel to Portal, called Portal: Prelude, whose story arc focuses on the "pre-GlaDOS epoch". It's said to have more gameplay than even the original: 8 chapters, 48 challenges, 6 advanced maps and more than 400 lines of speech. [more inside]
posted by tybeet on Oct 21, 2008 - 58 comments

The cake is a yellow square.

Portal, Atari 2600 style. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Sep 11, 2008 - 16 comments

MIT TechTV

MIT TechTV [beta]. Like YouTube for braniacs (minus the scandalous invasion of privacy).
posted by Rykey on Jul 18, 2008 - 8 comments

The Cake is a Detour

Ask and it shall be given. Also, here's what Knight Industries has been working on for the past 20 years. Seems like they went backwards a bit.
posted by assoctw on Jul 9, 2008 - 11 comments

It may not be art, but I know what I like.

It's been almost a year since Roger Ebert responded to Clive Barker on the debate over whether games can truly be "art." In support of Mr. Barker's position, here are some of the most artistic moments from games in recent years - the tragic, the trippy, the Saturday mornings, the darkly comic, the downs and the ups, and the rare phyrric victory. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Jun 23, 2008 - 126 comments

You just keep on trying till you run out of cake

Jonathan Coulton performs "Still Alive" in Rock Band.
posted by ryoshu on Feb 26, 2008 - 52 comments

This was a triumph.

Portal's "Still Alive." The man who wrote it. The woman who sang it. The official skinny, with lyrics and chords. A music video parody. On piano, guitar, and Garry's Mod. Its place in video game history. And finally, one or two ways to get it. (Spoilers all.)
posted by Soup on Nov 6, 2007 - 121 comments

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