Monday, October 21, 2013

Is Chell dead?

Gaming thoughts:

Just a thought: Is Chell dead?

      Hi guys. Sorry for the delay, but I am currently writing my bachelor thesis, and as a "Bad Luck Brian" as I am, my notebook crashed, so I had to take some jobs to buy a new one. My whole school is gone because my HDD on my crashed notebook decided, that it wanted to fuck me up, so it only copied 75% of my files to an external HDD, which didn´t included my 3 years of files from university. So yeah, I am fucked.      But before it crashed, and threw me into an eternal agony, I was playing Portal 2 ... again. Since then, I was thinking, that I maybe had the biggest ephiphany in my whole life. I know there was a theory about this, long time ago, but I think, sadly, that it may be more of a fact than a theory.

Disclaimer: This topic contains spoilers from Portal 2, if you haven´t played yet. ( btw, how can you live with yourself? )

Brief introduction:
      Portal and Portal 2 were created as computer games in Valve were you use a gun, that creates 

wormholes. If you walk trough one hole, you will exit from another, so basically this will give you a hint that this is a puzzle solving game. You are guided by the computer with artificial inteligence named GLaDOS and you as a test subject that´s completing test chambers. I really recomend both games to try, because of storyline they are telling. You play as Chell, main character, that you navigate through test chambers. She doesn´t speak, you don´t know anything about her. You have some information from AIs that tease her, and some considerings from wall murals, but not a single firm fact about her past. And, yes... first part of this Brief introduction, was ctrl+c from my previous blog about the game Portal, because I´m not only fucked, but also lazy.

Valve is waaaaaaaaaaaay more technical
      So I read The Final Hours of Portal 2 and it gave me an impression of a more technical game, and that I had a worng first impression from the storyline. My first impression was that Chell was the cause of realization of GLaDOS, that emotions exists, that Chell was finally free. But after reading the book about making the game, I realized the simple mechanics and morals in Valve. Valve might not say anything about the ending of Portal 2, but it is because they don´t want to dictate what people have to think. They planned for gamers to develop an attachment for companion cube, have that strange feeling for GlaDOS, so in conclusion, they wanted to built a feeling for the gamer, that he actually IS a test subject. And many theories about the ending are build on this feeling. You feel the relieving that the struggle ends. The Turret Opera is the Cherry on the Icing. But try to be an observer for a while, as a third person, outside the facility. With no frustration. 

Valve´s tutorial
       Valve is well-know for their built-in tutorial. In the first game they show you how to place a cube on a button, and this game isn´t different. Even in this game they show you how momentum works and even other basics are explained. The same rule applies for storytelling. Throughout the game you encounter a special turret, that says "I am different.", and starts telling about the myth of Prometheus, the Titan that gave fire to humans, that he stole from Zeus, and thus he gave science to humans. At the end you encounter the turrets, that in an elevator without a portal gun, so you have no place to escape. The odd thing is that they start to play their opera, and at the end, you end up on a field and then companion cube shows up. It seems as a analogy for Greeks view of heaven, when you end up on the fields of Elizeya, acompanied with your best friend, while you hear a choir. Consider the fact that companion cube is incinirated in the first game, and you finally met it at the end of the second game. The companion cube has even it´s own conspiracy around it.

The problem of AI
      We must consider the fact that Gabe Newell saw how cience works, because he studied theoretical physics, before creating Valve. GLaDOS is a AI, and even it is an artificial inteligence, she is bounded to, and around, her main purpose, and that´s testing. She even confesses through out the game that, she has that itch, like Wheatley had, but she surpassed it, because she was "for the science", as she said. She even mentions that she calculated, that there is sixty years of testing ahead. As a inteligence, she has the common sense for survival, and she is capable of lying. Yes, when she is PoTATOS during the game, she says that she litterally has not the energy for lying. But the main fact is, that at the end, she discovers that she is based on Caroline, the secretary of the founder. Then she does some scheming, and at the end, she deletes Caroline (even she has a conspiracy around her, that she is mother of Chell). What if she thinks that purpose of the testing is emotional attachment, and she recalculates that by the new gathered data, she must replace test subjects after every test? What if ATLAS and P-Body are now ment to be destroyed after every test, because of what happenned? What if GLaDOS realized that she needs to apply emotions to her calculations, and she understanded that the principles of emotions are less deterministic, and sometimes more simple? Is she programmed to study consciousness?... and if I may go further... is it a portal testing, or a testing of human basic instincts? Because if it was a portal testing, than why was Chell redacted for tenancy?

The biggest mystery for me is, that if Chell trully escaped, why the song of Turret Opera was about not escaping?

P.S.: Even if she wanted to release Chell, she is an program after all, so she must obey commands that make her. Even more after all, Chell has a file set up as redacted, that´s why she wants to, well, have to kill her.

Yeah... pretty much... like this:
... but if you search up the Portal comics, one of them depics that turrets, can sing, because, they were ment as something like a "Guaridng angel for infants"... so they sing a song if they detect crying... so there is a new theory, that Chell at the end might realized, who GLaDOS was, and the turrets singed because they detected tears on her face... btw, the purpose to create a deadly lulababy for protection, gives a new insight in the Half-life backround... Valve is king of trolls, so who knows, why they created a comics like this.

See ya next time ;)

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