Portal is for Lesbians?

portal.jpgHeroine Sheik, recently adopted by The Village Voice, has an interesting story up about Portal and it's all female cast. I remember thinking, when I started playing Portal, that it was interesting that the main character was a woman. And that, much more importantly, the game developers didn't really make a big deal about that, in fact they made no deal about it. The only way you know you're playing a woman is by catching a glimpse of the avatar through portals or in a mirror.

In fact they are so seemingly ambivalent about her gender that I forgot about it about ten minutes into the game, spending more of my time thinking about the puzzles and how to solve them. What's weird is that I was nearly constantly reminded of her gender, because those portals were always showing me what she looked like. But as the story begins to unfold I seemingly forgot that both the lead character and the computer are female.

Heroine Sheik, though, did not.

Now Bonnie Ruberg quickly qualifies her deconstruction of the game as just that, the product of reality-free deconstructionism. But that doesn't make it any less interesting to read or important to consider.

You owe yourself a read, if for no other reason that to see how Ruberg deftly deals with the last minute realisation that the companion cube is in fact male, thus potentially scuttling her whole "it's an all female game."

'Portal' Is for Lesbians [Heroine Sheik]


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