GLaDOS: My Favorite Video Game Character

by on October 3rd, 2010
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In the video game series Portal, Chell, the main protagonist, portals her way through many dangerous and difficult obstacles. She is in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center, in which she is being tested “for science.” These tests are run by an AI construct named GLaDOS (short for Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System.) GLaDOS spends her time taunting Chell, calling her fat, playing sick jokes (or surprises) and promising cake at the end of the never ending testing. As I played through the series I stared down two roads of either intense hate for GLaDOS or deep love for her. Despite GLaDOS’s antagonistic ways, I find her to be my favorite video game character.

GLaDOS’s dark humor plays an important role in the charm of Portal and makes me enjoy her presence. She takes jabs at Chell regarding Chell’s birth parents, for example making a false phone call which contained the quote ” “The birth parents you are trying to reach do not love you, please hang up.” Also she pokes fun at Chell claiming that scientists have noted that the Aperture Science uniform looks ugly on Chell. These elements of dark humor really make GLaDOS intriguing and funny.

GLaDOS also is very thoughtful in that, she knows different tid-bits of truth that are really interesting. Towards the beginning of the game, she mentions to Chell that people with guilty consciences are more likely to be startled by loud noises, (after this, she played a loud train noise, trying to startle the “guilty” player.) Another instance in which she brings up a really good point is during the Aperture Science cooperative initiative where she brings up that only one of the two players will be remembered. She says “…keep in mind that like Albert Einstein and his cousin Terry, history will only remember one of you.”

GLaDOS becomes friendlier during the middle of Portal 2. During this time, when she becomes stuck in a potato, she becomes much more cooperative with Chell against the common enemy, Wheatley. She starts revealing a part of her programming, Caroline, Cave Johnson’s assistant (Cave Johnson is the founder of Aperture Science.) This programming leaves GLaDOS with a conscience, and she becomes kinder to Chell. Of course this is ruined when GLaDOS deletes Caroline from her programming.

I can’t wait for the 3rd Portal because then I will be able to see my favorite antagonist and favorite video game character, GLaDOS.

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