That’s right, folks! Valve’s surprise hit from 2007 is free until September 20th. And believe it or not, this is all for the sake of education. They’ve launched a website called Learn With Portals, which they’re using to encourage educators to use the physics-based puzzle adventure to advocate that the game be used in educational programs. To add a little extra push, Portal can be downloaded free of charge.
“One of the biggest challenges in teaching science, technology, engineering, and math is capturing the students’ imaginations long enough for them to see all of the possibilities that lie ahead,” the site explains. “Using interactive tools like the Portal series to draw them in makes physics, math, logic, spatial reasoning, probability, and problem solving interesting, cool, and fun, which gets us one step closer to our goal: engaged, thoughtful kids!”
For those who are unfamiliar with Portal (you poor, lost souls), the game’s storyline involves you being used as a human test candidate by a homicidal, verbally abusive and hilarious AI named GLaDOS. All tests are spatial puzzles that can only be solved with the help of the “portal gun”. The gun let players create two different doorways on surfaces that connect to one another. Your goal is to escape the testing compound using proper timing and wits.
Get it while you can! As the website promotes… be intrigued. Be engaged. Be inspired. That, or simply enjoy the deliciously dark humour of Portal and abuse the heck out of the laws of physics.