Seeing Chell: Portal and Seeking Approval...

There was a moment in the first Portal game that I remember with utter clarity. I had fired an orange portal at the wall behind me and then a blue one at the wall ahead of me. There, framed in the glowing, blue ring, I could see Chell’s back. As I moved, she moved. A strange, out-of-body feeling flushed through me and for a brief moment, Portal was so much more than a video game. It was a revelation. The phrase “seeing yourself clearly” suddenly took on layers of new meaning. I was, of course, literally seeing Chell from a new perspective. More importantly, I started to think about how others might perceive me. What did they see when they looked at me? When they interacted with me? In my own mind, I was witty and caring and generally fun to be around. Was that really true? Maybe others had an entirely different view of who I was and how I behaved. Maybe I was really a downer who made people uncomfortable or unhappy. So I started paying close attention to what people said and how they behaved around me. I was looking for clues about myself. In the game, Chell spends her time looking for clues about how to escape the Aperture Science Testing Center. The only feedback she gets is from the wicked and slightly manic AI named GlaDOS. After Chell is awakened from suspended animation, she is subjected to multiple tests involving logic, spatial reasoning, and the threat of imminent death. At first, GlaDOS seems helpful, if a bit creepy. But at some point, perhaps after she gives Chell the following warning, you realize GLaDOS isn’t all that benevolent. It says so here in your personnel file: unlikeable. Liked by no...

Moving through the Pain of the Past Jun12

Moving through the Pain of the Past...

“Look at my eyes, Faye. One of them is a fake cause I lost it in an accident. Since then, I’ve been seeing the past in one eye, and the present in the other, so I thought I could only see patches of reality, never the whole picture.” Spike Spiegel, the protagonist of the classic sci-fi anime, Cowboy Bebop, spends the series living in the present but fighting with his past. Formerly a violent member of a crime syndicate, Spike reinvented himself as a bounty hunter, partnering with Jet Black, a former cop, and picking up other crew along the way. And while almost every episode of the series focuses on the present and how the crew of the Cowboy Bebop try to attain bounties, certain episodes are directed toward the past, with a finale that brings Spike into a collision course with his former life. Spike hasn’t been running away from the past, per se; he just hasn’t been dealing with it. Why would he? As dangerous as his life is as a bounty hunter, it’s still calmer than what he had in the syndicate, and Spike seems to feel that he’s risen from the dead for a reason (certainly not to become a gangster again). But Spike’s past keeps drawing him in. The same can be said with the others on crew, but there’s a difference, as each is able to resolve his or her past: Jet moves on from his former love once and for all; Ed and Ein find a permanent home; and Faye accepts that her younger life has passed her by. In some cases, as with Faye, I might not like the answers I find. Faye’s story may be the most intriguing among the crew. She was involved...

Gift Guide to Geek Art Nov04

Gift Guide to Geek Art...

Like winter, Christmas is coming. And if you know anything about geeks, it’s that we love fan art. Since art is a big part of what we do here at Geekdom House, we’ve got the inside scoop on where you can go for your art lover’s Christmas gifts this year, including a list of some of the fandoms they cover so you can search this post for anything particular you’re looking for. That’s right, we did all the work for you. Or, of course, you could send your friends this link so they know what to get you. That works, too. 1. Paper Beats Rock Super Smash Bros. • Mario • Pokemon • Avatar: The Last Airbender • Spiderman • Venom • Attack on Titan • Big Hero 6 • Spirited Away • Gundam • Street Fighter • The Legend of Zelda • Link • Samus • Megaman • Fairy Tail • Natsu • Fullmetal Alchemist • Deadpool • The Flash • DragonballZ 2. Fabled Creative Pokemon • Jurassic Park • Retro • Space • BioShock • Supernatural • Mario • Batman • Fallout • Portal • Destiny • Luigi • Daisy • Mario Kart • Wario • Toad • Bowser • Maps   3. Otis Frampton Star Wars • Firefly • The Lord of the Rings • The Hobbit • My Neighbor Totoro • Doctor Who • Mad Max • The Legend of Zelda • Star Trek • The Big Bang Theory   4. Joe Hogan Art Pokemon • The Legend of Zelda • Majora’s Mask • Adventure Time • Mad Max • Final Fantasy • Cloud • Mario • Megaman • Spider-Man • Star Wars • Banjo-Kazooie • Stranger Things • Super Smash Bros. • Link • Peach • The Wind Waker • Rick and Morty • Ghostbusters • Sonic the Hedgehog • Journey • Mass Effect • Undertale • Halo   5. Sandara Fantasy • Dragons • Dungeons & Dragons • Myths   6. Wisesnail Art Sherlock • Deadpool • Guardians of the Galaxy • Rocket Raccoon • The Avengers • Harley Quinn • Suicide Squad • The Joker • Moriarty • The Falcon • Captain America • The Lord of the Rings • Vision • Groot • Assassin’s Creed • Doctor Strange •...