So I’m currently playing through Portal 2.  I finished the single player campaign and am now moving on to co-op (assuming I can convince some poor sap to play it with me).  I have to say, this game is probably the best example of good writing in video games that I’ve ever seen.  The dialogue is consistently hilarious throughout, and the story moves at the perfect pace.  Plus, the characters have a surprising amount of depth to them, which is quite a feat considering the only real characters in the game other than yourself are two artificial intelligence constructs and a series of voice recordings of a man who died decades earlier.  Sprinkle in some top-notch music and voice talent, and Portal 2 shows exactly why video games can be every bit as mentally engaging as a good movie or book.

For an example of the witty dialogue in the game, here’s a small clip.  I posted some of this as a Facebook status not long ago, and it was interesting seeing who understood the joke and who didn’t.

WARNING:  Spoilers ahoy!

Up to this point in the game, you’ve been trying to escape from this facility with the help of a british-sounding AI construct named Wheatley.  All the while, another AI, named GLaDOS, has been trying to capture you to make you run through more of her tests like a lab rat.  So Wheatley eventually leads you to GLaDOS’ main chamber, where you defeat her and insert Wheatley into her place to give him control of the facility and help you escape.  However, the power drives him mad, and he immediately decides he no longer wants to help you.  Instead, he places GLaDOS processor into a potato (it’s stated earlier in the game that the facility’s AI units can operate in post-apocalyptic power environments of as little as 1.1 volts, which a potato battery can provide), then drops you and her down a seemingly endless shaft.  Here is the dialogue that ensues between you and GLaDOS:



And just for fun, here’s Portal in real life.



Okay, I’m done talking about Portal… for now.

We Have Lift Off

Hi, and welcome to the inaugural post of my new site!  However you found your way here, thanks for checking it out.  Why The Wilderness?  Mainly because I used that as the name of my last blog, but also because I just kind of like the implication that anything can happen here.

For those who know me, I’ve tried this a few times in the past without much success.  What makes this one different?  I don’t really know, except to say that if I keep trying enough times eventually I’ll get it right.  Also, I think I have a few extra things in my favor this time:

  1. I now have my own domain name, as well as a dedicated host.  This means much more control over what I want to do with the site.
  2. I’m not limiting myself here to one topic like I have in the past.  Whatever I feel like writing about, that’s what you’ll see.  That’s right, get ready for some tedious, uninteresting content at times.  But at least it will be content.
  3. … I had something else here, but it’s escaped me.  I’m sure I’ll remember later.

In short, it’s time to treat this site like a project at work, and that means deadlines.  The plan is to update a minimum of three times a week.  Whether that means a full-on essay or a video of a cat playing basketball, it will be something.

On top of this being a blog, I will be continually updating the site with other content as well.  What kind of content?  You’ll have to stick around and find out.  Again, thanks for visiting, and remember to bookmark!