Afterwards. There will be. Grief Counseling. And Cake.
Portal has invaded my subconscious – so much so that my dreams revolve around obscure geometries and unholy revocations of the laws of space and time.
This, plus the fact that I was wrapped deep in the heart of Ravenholme playing Half-Life 2 means that last night I had a seven hour waking nightmare revolving around blue and orange circles of side-stepping infinity, vampire chickens, poisonous zombies, and zero-point energy manipulation guns. Step left and go right; drop down and fly to the left, launch a sawblade filled with gravitic energy through the green-blooded guts of walking corpses.
And the turrets: guns that reveal depressing sighs upon death and play “Marco? Polo?” with me.
So weird. No plot. Just dreaming, waking, and the realization of a dream. Then my sweet Lunesta drops me back into an oblivion of blue and orange physics.
It’s been a while since I’ve encountered something that has caused me to re-examine my understanding of space. I find myself trapped in crystalline logics revolving around my knowledge of relativity, trying to apply reality to a video game.
Would an instantaneous portal system bend time as well as space? It would have to, I think, if only marginally. Would stepping through the orange and out the blue cause my relative/subjective time frame to reset? Would I age doing so? If so, would it be faster than objective time? If so, would it hurt?
I would imagine that if my hair and fingernails instantly grew a quarter inch it would be painful.
This leads me into thinking about Primer, which I think was the best science fiction film of 2004. It’s a difficult film: extraordinarily cerebral and extraordinarily far-reaching. In the film, they develop a time machine that can only go backwards: enter the box and emerge a day earlier (the box must have been constructed before the time of exit).
Does light reflect from inside the box? Assume that the time travel mechanism involves a kind of energy field (the boxes were not entirely opaque); is one able to observe the traveler?
Do his fingernails grow?
Do scents penetrate the field?
I am heavily invested in Portal mentally at this point. I’m playing around with the advanced maps and the challenges (fewest steps, fewest portals, shortest time). While I enjoy every second of it, I am looking forward to when I have gotten gold and/or beaten the levels so that my brain will settle down and I can sleep normally.