Portal is Free

Chrono212

Fluttershy has a mean K:DR
May 19, 2009
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Abandon4093 said:
Chrono212 said:
Can You Run It always says I can but I always get frame-rate issues or something similar.
I think CYR just looks at the hardware you've got installed. So it's giving you an estimation based on the optimal efficiency of your hardware. Not what you're PC is actually running like. Things like processors and graphics cards degrade after heavy use. Not to mention harddrives getting full and causing all sorts of nasty things such as defragmentation and running out of scratch data. So although a brand spanking new PC with the same hardware as you might run it. Your PC may be running a little under what is required.
I try to keep it in good nic and all but I've never personally upgraded it.
It runs Portal 2 fine apart from when there are multiple new physics particles being formed (i.e. that glass thing with the bouncy box). But other things such as the Shogun 2 demo, it struggles with.
 

Charli

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Nov 23, 2008
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Y'know what...I feel good that I paid for portal. Kind of Like Minecraft, or I feel it deserved the money it made weather stand alone or as part of the Orange box. Portal 2 as well, money earned, and it going free is nice but I'm not like "AAaaah people get this free now how unfair"
 

coldfrog

Can you feel around inside?
Dec 22, 2008
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Wait wait wait... TWO of the biggest memes? I live in the outer limits of the internet in general, but even then... I can only think of one (and we all know which lie meme THAT is), so what's the other one? Is it the companion cube? Does that work? I just don't know.

By the way, this is yet another reason I love Valve, the list just keeps adding up. Say what you will about marketing, but other than Good Old Games, I can't think of any other company that's given away good games like this for free
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Samwise137 said:
Andy Chalk said:
Is it Valve missing the mark, or is it your administration?
I guess a little of both. Another teacher I know from a nearby district suggested that if Valve really wanted to push this for education they could release a version specifically FOR education without the plot and occasional blood splatters (blood being the biggest hindrance for administrators; we have to keep things 'school appropriate'). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for games as educational tools but it's just VERY difficult to get administrators to go along with it.
Understandable. Even in contemporary society, there are a lot of parents who would react badly to the idea of their kids PLAYING VIDEOGAMES IN SCHOOL! It's a tricky situation, and you're right that the little blood splatters and certain plot points could make it an even tougher sell. But kids are often a lot more sophisticated about such things than they're given credit for and I think that as an effective teaching tool, you'd have a lot more luck with "real Portal" than with some sanitized, de-fanged version that the kids will all know is bullshit.
 

Dastardly

Imaginary Friend
Apr 19, 2010
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Andy Chalk said:
Samwise137 said:
As much as I'd love to let my students play Portal in class, I'm not even going to TRY to convince the administration where I work that it's educationally valid. Sorry, Valve, points for effort but you're missing the mark a bit here.
Is it Valve missing the mark, or is it your administration?
It's Valve.

Saying Portal has educational value in a science class is like saying The Patriot (Mel Gibson movie, American Revolution) has educational value in a history class. Yes, it presents some accurate information and establishes a context through narrative. Yes, if you really try, you can "learn" something from it...

...but if you want to talk "learning per minute," the pay-off is obscenely low compared to other educational methods. It's an interesting "fun day" diversion, good for substitutes or a reward for your high-performing students. Or maybe to reinforce something that was already taught. It's not an 'innovative' educational practice.

Games require resources. You need computers (including all necessary hardware and software) for each student. You need more space for each student, as well. All in all, this means you need a ton more money, or you need a smaller group of students -- we aren't getting either of those in education any time soon.

Even if we did get all of this, what would the pay-off be? We claim they've learned something... but what? The claim is meaningless unless you can demonstrate that they have gained knowledge they are then able to apply to novel situations appropriately and accurately. So far, no proof of learning. But, hey, maybe instead our claim is that Little Johnny is now more excited about science than he was before, so it means he'll be more apt to learn afterward.

Not quite. Use games in class, and Little Johnny might be more excited about science class... as long as "science class" means "We get to play Portal." All the lessons that aren't games will still get the same treatment. Of course, you can try to tell Little Johnny, "If you do well on the other lessons, then you get to play Portal." But now the game isn't about learning, but about incentive. And incentives lose power over time. Rapidly. When he beats Portal, what then? Or maybe he just gets sick of it? Will Little Johnny continue to learn science even in the absence of this incentive, or will you need another (stronger) incentive to keep things going?

Incentives are a currency that is subject to high inflation -- they lose "buying power" the more you use them. And as a side effect, they overshadow and atrophy the intrinsic motivation you could have been building if you weren't swindled by shiny gimmicks.

Summary: It's a piss-poor educational tool. It's a hazardous incentive. But it's an okay diversion with loose ties to the content. Let's just not over-sell this idea.


ASIDE:

I don't blame Valve alone. It's also a result of a movement among some of the more politically-minded teachers. They've noticed administration really jumping on this "Shoehorn technology into everything, even if it's not applicable (or sustainable with our current budget situation)" thing, and they're tossing stuff like this out there to score brownie points.

And, of course, they only do this with their high-performing classes. As a result, the data comes back and says, "Wow! These kids are doing great!" We can then (falsely) attribute that to the inclusion of Portal (or something similar), rather than the fact that this is a group that already performs at that level.

On the other side of the coin, some teachers will instead use assignments like this with the lower-performing groups. They then grade these "assignments" and present the higher grades as proof that their 'innovation' is paying off... when really, it's just that the assignment has gotten easier. While I don't think it's a bad thing to occasionally give lower-performing kids a chance at an easier "win," it's being grossly misrepresented for political gain.
 

Sixcess

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Feb 27, 2010
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Andy Chalk said:
"Today, innovative educators are finding ways to incorporate Portal and Portal 2 into their classrooms-helping teach physics and critical-thinking skills," it continued. "One of the biggest challenges in teaching science, technology, engineering, and maths is capturing the students' imaginations long enough for them to see all of the possibilities that lie ahead."
When did the Extra Credits team start writing Valve's press releases?

Anyway, anyone that does already have Portal should get it, because it's a near unequalled monument to good game design, and it's really fun.

Also, Gabe Newell needs to dress up like Santa and start handing out copies to poor people in the streets, thus making the world a better place.
 

Urgh76

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May 27, 2009
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JoJoDeathunter said:
I got Portal last time it was free, I'll recommend this though to my friend who hasn't got it yet and missed the last free time, I was planned on phoning him tonight away.
It was a wonderful day

March 24th; steam came to the Mac :3
 

RJ Dalton

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Aug 13, 2009
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Oh, boy. I've been wanting to get this game since I played it on my friend's computer, but I haven't had the money. Now I do.

Or rather, I don't, but it doesn't matter.
 

Joe McGahan

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May 9, 2011
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I played a few levels of portal before my Xbox and my orange box were stolen. Now I have TF2 and portal back. 2/3 ain't bad.
 

LostTimeLady

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Dec 17, 2009
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Sweet.

Also, I like the sentiment, I've actually heard of degree classes that making Portal a compulsary element of the course.

When I've finished playing Portal I do get a real sense of achivement because it does require a little more spacial problem sloving thought than the usual 'run, shoot, dodge, flank, kill' thinking of some games (not that those games don't require skill).

Portal is a great was to demostrate problem solving but, as a few people have said already, it might be tricky for Teachers to convince their superiors of that.
 

Eleima

Keeper of the GWJ Holocron
Feb 21, 2010
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Chrono212 said:
JUMBO PALACE said:
I actually wrote a college paper last year about the personal and societal benefits of video games, and I cited an example of Portal being used in a college classroom. Valve isn't just blowing smoke here.
I can haz see college paper? :3
Also, what degree were/are you studying for?
Actually, I'd kinda be interested in reading such a paper! I can haz paper too? =)

This is pretty sweet news. I already have Portal, of course, but hubby doesn't, so I think I'll install it on his computer before he gets home (he's still a Portal virgin). Maybe he'll like it, who knows? ^_^
 

ViciousTide

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Aug 5, 2011
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I am an Electrical Engineer (PSU) and am all for having video games in the classroom. My AP Java Programming courses were more fun when we were programming Fish Env Simulators and RoboCode Death bouts. Bioshock's minigame/hack for it's flying bots was an educational minigame for not only water current flow, but for Electrical currents as well.

Portal is my favorite educational game (Prey did have it's small achievements too, but was way to grewsome for kids).

As a programmer, have you guys thought about how they did it? A camera object inside a portal screen object with a door to a copied world linking it between each portal...simply genius!

Now in real life, if one amplifies gravity in our SpaceTime Frame to exponential levels, you can bend spacetime over on itself and create a portal to any point in the spacetime frame making the distance to travel instant (or just simply step through it!). The distance is determined by the direction and energy intensity of the amplified gravity wave, as simple as RF Wave Guide theory for Electrical Circuits and antimatter annihalation reactions!! Once you get past the 4 years of Calculas, Physics, Electrical Sciences that is...hell but it's worth it! On top of that you get to take a few courses in lasers, robotics, programming, optics, circuit switchs and power, Circuit Comunications and Radio Propagation, Remote Sensing, space astronomy, and Computer Vision...Alright, face it, this game was meant to inspire all the Electrical Engineers and soon to be college students in the World!!!

Now when will they make it 8 player and give the constructor to the Mod community? I have many EE friends in their 20s to play with/ I mean to get overly paid to problem solve with for the future of humanity of course ;)
 

hypovolemia

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Mar 25, 2011
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For the people wondering about Portal's use in education:
Even if Portal was useless at improving spatial reasoning this would still be pretty much the best field trip ever.

I saw a documentary the other day about a paradigm shift in education, which aims to turn children into creators instead of consumers. For example, instead of memorizing data in history class they get to make videos about, say, the industrial revolution. So apparently a couple of years in the future school will be much less of a boring, soul-sucking torture.
 

Epona

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My god I love Valve. What more is there to say?