A Walk Through Portal: An Act of Videogame Analysis

Drew Davidson

With this presentation, I will engage in an in-depth close reading of the game, Portal, in order to parse out various meanings I found in the experience of playing the game. I approach the experience from the perspective of its narrative development and its game design. Sequences in the game will be played and analyzed in detail in order to illustrate and interpret how these various components of the game come together to create a fulfilling playing experience. I’m currently editing a book with a group of authors performing similar analyses of various videogames. The goal of this book is to help develop and define a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience. Videogames are a complex medium that merits careful interpretation and insightful analysis.