Portal Playing Dad Frustrates to No End

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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Portal Playing Dad Frustrates to No End


You'll scream at your computer while watching this non-gamer father try to play Portal.

In another case of one of those old YouTube videos you never saw but really should have, a son documented his dad's very first experience with a videogame. He sat his dad down in front of Portal [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002I0JIQW/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_3?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00140P9G0&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0RPVWYG5M24XB8HM2V2B] and filmed his experience trying to get through it.

To the average gamer, the earliest Portal chambers are pretty easy to finish. Shoot blue portal here, walk through there, and take the elevator to the next level. No sweat, right? Not for this dad.

The experience shows us how some people's brains just aren't wired [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/context-sensitive/6570-Easy-Should-Be-Easy] to play games. Growing up playing Pac-Man or Super Mario Bros. gives you those skills. Growing up playing Ball-in-a-Cup doesn't.

Like this dad, apparently. He looks inside the walls of a Portal level that most of us would ignore and says: "There's hydraulic lifts in there! There must be a button!" In reality, all he has to do is shoot a portal across a gap and walk through the one right next to him, but he just... can't... get it.

Nothing against the dad, he seems like a nice, funny guy that just doesn't play games. I know if I was the son though, I couldn't have kept my hints quiet as long as he did.

This video series isn't as exciting as the Dead Island trailer [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/107826-Dead-Island-The-Best-Zombie-Game-Trailer-Ever] or anything, but hearing the dad realize that GlaDOS is not a reliable source of information is endearing. At the same time, it's one of the most frustrating things I've ever seen. Parts 2-4 are below.


Source: Reddit [http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/ftfi2/dad_plays_portal_apparently_his_first_computer/]

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fealubryne

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Jan 26, 2011
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Oh man. So I guess being proud of my mom when she figures this stuff our pretty quickly isn't completely unwarranted after all.
 

theComposer

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Mar 29, 2009
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Frozen Donkey Wheel2 said:
Um, no offense, but....How exactly does this qualify as news?

I mean, its a funny video and all, but....you know....It's called the Newsroom for a reason.
It's a Sunday, and probably just a slow news day in general. No, it's not "news" in the typical sense, but some people might find this interesting or entertaining, which is better than no story at all.

OT: This is what I imagine it would be like if my parents tried to play games. I couldn't watch very much of the videos though; it was just too frustrating.
 

GundamSentinel

The leading man, who else?
Aug 23, 2009
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I must get my dad to play this. He hasn't played a video game since Test Drive 1 and Captain Comic. Should be interesting.
 

ddq5

I wonder what the character limi
Jun 18, 2009
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Well he's not thinking with portals.
It'll be fun when I reach that age and can't grasp my kids' 5-dimensional neurogramic fluxulators.
 

Katana314

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Oct 4, 2007
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Actually, this sort of news is especially important to me. I'm the type that is infinitely frustrated every time I see a game add yet another layer of complexity to its mechanics.

My brother's girlfriend just didn't understand Portal either. In fact, I think WASD movement didn't even make sense to her. I kind of wonder if designers need to start working on games to fill in that learning gap. Even if they aren't a monetary success, it might make more gamers.
 
May 5, 2010
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poiumty said:
Frozen Donkey Wheel2 said:
Um, no offense, but....How exactly does this qualify as news?

I mean, its a funny video and all, but....you know....It's called the Newsroom for a reason.
I've asked this a few times in the past. Their reply was something along the lines of "Problem, user?".
Yeah, I've seen it done. I tried to be as nice as possible for the thought police Benevolent Masters of The Glorious Escapist.

Oooh, they're probably going to get me for that.

YOU'RE ONLY PROVING ME RIGHT!!!
 

kouriichi

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Sep 5, 2010
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This just enforces my idea that some people hate videogames, because they can barly get past the first level.
 

Baresark

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Dec 19, 2010
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The experience shows us how some people's brains just aren't wired to play games. Growing up playing Pac-Man or Super Mario Bros. gives you those skills. Growing up playing Ball-in-a-Cup doesn't.
This is indeed a series of pretty funny videos. But the assessment of the author shows how little he knows about the human brain. I don't know what the profession of the father is, but he is simply learning a new interaction that did not previously exist to him. All people would look equally as idiotic in that situation. He sees hydraulics and assumes that is what must be manipulated. The portal gun exists outside reality and is not something someone with practical real world experience would not readily know how to manipulate without at least a little thought. Gamers take stuff like that for granted all the time. Really, his assumption that the hydraulics must be manipulated can be taken as either a failing of the developers, or taken as a strong example of realism in the game. It's more like the father is used to exclusively linear thinking and manipulating the world in new ways such as with a portal gun is simply unknown to him before this point.

OT: I wouldn't call this news, but it's fun to see someone experience this game for the first time, especially if they have no previous videogame experience.
 

Jonluw

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May 23, 2010
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Looks like his first problem is caused by him not realizing he can go through the portals both ways. I think they could at least have told him that.
 

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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Frozen Donkey Wheel2 said:
Um, no offense, but....How exactly does this qualify as news?

I mean, its a funny video and all, but....you know....It's called the Newsroom for a reason.
Maybe there's nothing particularly newsworthy happening right now.

OT: That was painful, but it's fun to see someone giving it a decent shot.
 

Zechnophobe

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Feb 4, 2010
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My girlfriend had problems in the same room the first time. It is interesting to see that mental connection finally made: That the two portals always connect to each other. Always.