I am not ordinarily a big player of video games—and so, a fortiori, not a frequent watcher-of-YouTubes in which other people play video games. But the final battle sequence from the surprise-hit Portal is really worth a look. The game itself looks entertaining, and even features (what struck me as) an innovative play mechanism: You solve puzzles (and dispatch enemies) by creating pairs of miniature linked wormholes. The real feature, though, is your guide-cum-antagonist GlaDOS, a maliciously solicitous, mellifluously homicidal supercomputer who finally answers the eternal question: What if Hal 9000 and Nurse Ratched had a child? The final sequence is a nice, condensed helping of the sense of humor that permeates the game, and which reminded me of nothing so much as the wonderful old slapstick-Kafka RPG Paranoia.
Lest you think I just spend my days trolling for online video game footage, I first discovered the game because I had heard that geek-rocker extraordinaire Jonathan Coulton had penned the song that plays over the game’s closing credits. And indeed, his “Still Alive” (sung in the voice of GlaDOS) is both catchy and hilarious, though it will probably make more if viewed after the previous sequence (or, better still, after playing the game).