Science Is Fun! Half-Life, Portal, and Science

All hail the Enlightenment — Thomas Freeman has an interesting look at science and attitudes towards science in Half-Life and Portal. What do such attitudes spell for future releases?

For the last few years, the buzzword for game engine design has been physics, but most games didn't use it for anything more than the most basic eye-candy. HL2 showed that the model itself could actually be fun and interesting as part of the gameplay. I like to imagine doing the same thing for other fields - chemistry, for example, which has never been one of my strong subjects but would almost certainly make for amazing puzzles a la MacGyver. To some degree, this progression is already taking place; what's Spore but an expansive biology toy?

A fun and thought provoking read, even for those of us who run screaming from labs of any kind. Give me musty library stacks any day.

Anomalous Materials [The Escapist]


    How about a game based on meteorology? That's a science!

    *Look around
    You are in a field. A small creek runs to the west and you can make out a tiny brick building to the north. It is 17 degrees and the humidity is at 43%.

    You are carrying: A barometer, a thermometer, a hygrometer, a compass, and a blue key.

    You move North. A horrible, blue, 4 armed monster jumps out at you. It runs at you just slowly enough for you to outrun it if you run into the wind. Which direction will you go?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now