While I was in Minneapolis I was walking through a mall and there was the Orange Box on sale. Under the influence of Nelson Minar and Ars Technica, and especially given that it was priced in those inexpensive Yankee Pesos, I had to pick one up. I never played Half-Life nor Team Fortress, but the latter sounds fun; I wonder if we should put together a dynamic-languages-mafia or concurrency-obsessives team or some such. I’m not a serious gamer, so I started with Portal. I’ve put in a couple of hours now; it’s quick, lightweight, occasionally quite difficult, unlike anything else, and funny. It seems to provoke outbursts of Deep Thinking, f’rinstance from Schlaghund and Leonard Richardson; so I guess I gotta say something. It’s amazing how deeply embedded in our collective consciousness is the notion of the lethally impersonal corporation with a dead marketing voice. Dear Marketing Professionals; when you think “message control” several generational cohorts of geeky target demographics are thinking about the Portal voice. Go play it, and shudder.