On Rosebuds of the Interactive Sort…
So I just finished playing Portal. And I’m probably the least video game literate of those who post on this site, so what I’m about to say blooms from an ignorant soil… but is Portal the Citizen Kane we’ve been waiting for of the video game medium?
The mechanics of Portal are great and was the aspect of the game that got the early press, probably because the early press hadn’t played the game all the way through. Now that critics have, they are saying a lot of great things about the narrative. And I have to agree: Portal was an awesome narrative experience. And a step in the right direction for those of us who want to see video games evolve as an expressive medium capable of rich narrative — and best of all, Portal did things film cannot — and the only cut scene comes at the very end.
So when I compare Portal to Citizen Kane, I don’t mean to compare the two by the value of their narratives. I compare them by how they advance their medium by doing things that hadn’t been done. And in that sense, then I think Portal will stand as the Citizen Kane of video games and be remembered for a very long time as one of the most important early works of the movement. Thoughts?