Now We’re Thinking with Portals!

Well, hello there. Can you speak? Can you say “apple”? No? Well, let’s just jump through this portal and see what our soul says at the other end.

I see you enjoy playing with the funny physics of this world. Place two portals on the floor and toss a cube into there and watch it bounce out one, twirl in a graceful swimmer’s turn, and dive back into the portal to bounce out again. I also notice you like to place two portals on each of those parallel walls to look at yourself in an unending sequence of portals. You seem quite enthralled with your backside, watching yourself move around and shimmy from side to side. I wonder what Freud would say about that? And sometimes you enter the portal and stand there, frozen in space, unable to move forward or backwards. Is it fear that prevents you from moving forward? Or maybe it’s the comfort of being in the portal itself, a snug cocoon between the future and the not-so-distant past.

Oh, I see you’ve found your companion cube. This square box with a dainty heart on it is an ideal friend. It accompanies you on your scary journey, but never tells you that you’re heading in the wrong direction or warns you that what you may be doing is dangerous. You can use it to open up all sorts of doors and, if need be, you can abandon your companion to move forward after you’ve enjoyed all the usefulness it offers. If only there were more companion cubes in the world!

Well, now that you’ve cleverly annihilated your enemy, let’s blow this postapocalyptic popsicle stand to check out what the rest of civilization is up to. Maybe you’re even ready to move onto cooperative mode, with real people. Real people with goals and aspirations; real people with hopes and dreams. People who bleed when you prick them and cry during the intro to “Up”. As long as they’re not idiots. If they are, you are welcome to suck them dry and dispose of them companion-cube style.

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