October 17th, 2007

Get it? It’s like “Virgina is for lovers”… Eh, nevermind.

Not that it won’t unleash an angry mob of Portal lovers, but I just have to say this. Wait, first, I should probably say I think Portal is awesome; if I hadn’t left my PC in the States (or, you know, if I was willing to shell out the cash for a 360), I would doubtless by among the Portal-infatuated hordes. Also, I should say SPOILER ALERT! So with that out of the way, I’m going to go ahead and ask: is anyone else seeing the potential lesbian thing going on in Portal?

Granted, the game has a great sense of humor, so any sex/gender imagery we deconstruct here has to be taken with a grain of salt–and a permanent smirk. Still… Okay, let’s go through the evidence:

1) It’s an all female game. Not that that makes it “lesbian” per se, but let’s take a moment to stop and appreciate how infrequently that happens. We’ve got Chell, and we’ve got GLaDOS. Hot girl-on-girl (plot) action.

2) There are some definite implications of romantic interest in Portal. Sure, Chell “kills” GLaDOS, but she also breaks her heart. Then there’s the beloved weighted companion cube, which GLaDOS thinks Chell should be all cuddly with. Not only does it have those girly pink hearts on its sides, but it’s her “companion.” That’s a word like “partner” that often gets used as a euphemism for lover or girlfriend. Is that stretching things? Of course. All the more fun!

(Addendum: an actual player/commenter informs me the weighted companion cube is referred to as a “he.” That confuses thing a bit, but let’s keep thinking. We could say the cube doesn’t count as a real male character–only an object. It’s still feminized by the hearts. But if we’re sticking with the idea that it’s a “man,” we could call it commentary on the usefulness of men: they’re cute, but they’re a burden. Any other ideas?)

3) We’re dealing with a reshaping of a highly masculine genre, the FPS. If that itself weren’t “queering” enough, there’s the whole holes issue. We’ve talked before about how the guns in first-person shooters act as phallic avatars–that is, as penises. But in a world of women, this gun doesn’t shoot bullets. It shoots orifices. Openings. Fine, vaginas. Vaginas you, a female character, have to enter/exit to solve puzzles. I don’t say this often, and almost never with so much support and enthusiasm, but that is so gay.

So, anyone who’s actually played the game instead of just read about it obsessively spotted anymore interesting sex/gender imagery in Portal? All I can say is I’m thrilled that something so fun–and so funnily subversive–has been both conceived and adored by mainstream gamer land. Now I’m off to dream of plush weighted companion cubes

Tags: controversy, queerness, sex/gender imagery, Women rock!

130 Responses to “‘Portal’ Is for Lesbians”

  1. Penny Says:

    But….Companion Cube is referred to as a “he”. He told me I should point that out.

  2. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Okay, okay, good point. See, I’m learning things. Addendum being made…

  3. Leigh Says:

    You read gay sex into everything.

    …Not that there’s anything wrong with that :D

  4. the baglady Says:

    LOL, this article was funny. Thanks for linking my hubby’s article about Portal. He is actually a fan of your articles on Escapist.

  5. Carl Says:

    You know you can install Windows on a MacBook, right? And it’s real, game running Windows. As long as it doesn’t need a good video card, you’ll be ok.

  6. Sigh Says:

    You’re an idiot. By this definition, all War games are about gay guys. Because you’re hanging about with a bunch of men killing other men.

  7. Wroth Says:

    The game originally featured a male protagonist for quite a while. He featured in one of Portal’s trailers and in many demonstrations of the game.

  8. mno Says:

    Well “Sigh”, actually must war games/movies *are* very homo-erotic. Sorry to break your world.

  9. Scott Jon Siegel Says:

    Wroth: You’re totally right; the protagonist was originally male. So the question is: why did Valve decide to change the protagonist from a guy to a gal? If anything, that lends more credence to the intentionality of the gender choice.

  10. Wroth Says:

    My point was that it’s clear the game wasn’t designed with a lesbian theme in mind, if we’re to listen to Bonnie that the fact that it has an almost entirely female cast is supposedly proof of this.

    It’s much more likely that the character was changed for another reason, possibly relating to Portal’s tie-in to the Half Life universe. Since She escapes at the end, I predict that she will probably be included Episode 3’s storyline.

  11. Wroth Says:

    Interestingly though, Narbacular Drop, the original Project made by the team who were eventually hired by Valve to make Portal, also featured a female protagonist. Although in that case she was the only female in that game.

  12. Michael Says:

    I love it! Thanks for this entertaining take on a fun and unique game. For what it’s worth, “reading into” games in this way is an entirely legitimate and, in this case, captivating process, regardless of whether we all see the same things when we look. In fact, it’s better when we don’t. But what about the designer’s intentions? Interesting, but no more authoritative than anyone else’s point of view. Once a game/novel/song/film is out there, no one can claim full ownership of it ever again.

    FYI, I posted a link to your essay on my blog. Thanks for Heroine Sheik and keep the good stuff coming.

  13. Cigol Says:

    This is being discussed over here; http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=449

    Thought you might like to know.

  14. k. Says:

    about the endgame (plotline spoilers):

    GLaDOS says “You’ve been wrong about every single thing you’ve ever done, including this thing. You’re not smart. You’re not a scientist. You’re not a doctor. You’re not even a full-time employee. Where did your life go so wrong?”

    With this bit of dialogue, I am reminded of just how messed up the situation is. I mean, it’s GLaDOS’s fault that she killed all the scientists on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day and ruined Chell’s life.

    When GLaDOS mentions that the protagonist is not a scientist or doctor, I think of how women in general are not ordinarily thought of as scientists. Stop supporting the patriarchy, GLaDOS! Women are smart too. And can be full of just as much science.

    (But if she’s a part-time employee, what does an Aperture Science cake-chasing guinea pig do when she’s off work?)

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I can’t help but the message of the companion cube is more maternal. Like in the room where you find the Cube smutt, it’s actually men’s head cut off. And they are men from the 1940s Eisenhower and Roosevelt, and there’s a shot of a family together.

  16. Jenna Says:

    This sort of ridiculous bullshit gives the rest of us lesbians a bad name.

  17. AHR Says:

    We recently did a huge Portal round-up on Geekanerd, which includes some fan art that neatly portrays the Glados-Chell-Weighted Companion Cube love triangle: http://geekanerd.blogspot.com/2007/10/portal-authority-everything-good-on.html

  18. Hyosho Says:

    There’s a secret room in chamber 17 you should check out.
    (Hint: at least SOMEONE else thinks companion cube is a hot babe)

  19. Jeep Barnett Says:

    I always thought of it as more of a mother/daughter relationship. And yes, you can break your mother’s heart… who would have thought.

  20. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    My point was that it’s clear the game wasn’t designed with a lesbian theme in mind.
    My point is less that the developers sat down and though, “How can we make a ‘lesbian’ game,” and more that, in effect, the game has lesbian overtones. It is interesting that the gender of the main character got switched, though. I wonder how much of the dialogue/dynamics with GLaDOS and the companion cube were or weren’t switched accordingly…

  21. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Also, AHR, I totally love the fan art. Thanks!

  22. Albo Says:

    I think the companion cube being male doesn’t get in the way of the theory… Because GlaDOS makes you kill him.

  23. Weighted Companion Cube Says:

    There might be something to be said for the way you eventually kill GlaDOS – using your portals to redirect phallic missile fire toward her.

    And then there’s the whole path to GlaDOS that takes you through the “innards” of the facility, which has a distinctly reddish, almost organic color scheme to it in contrast with the bluish test chambers. You even fly through a series of tubes at one point.

    One could go on like this ad infinitum, of course, and it’s all a bit silly, but fun too.

  24. John Says:

    And who says games cannot be art? This is exactly the type of discussion a group of people would have over a piece of static art…trying to discern the meaning and purpose behind the artists intentions.

    Portal is art. Games can be art.

  25. Tal Says:

    That’s kinda stupid.

    It’s the classic crime of any media: If you try hard enough, you can make it promote anything you want to.

    I could probably make cases for Portal supporting 3 different major religions, supporting at least 2 different major corporations, and hiding an actual government conspiracy inside it if I REALLY tried.

  26. Hunter Says:

    @Tal: Well then, let’s have it. What can you make out of this?

  27. buttpwner Says:

    remember the part in being john malkovich where cameron diaz says “i think that sex that malkovich has a portal, its sort of vaginal, like he has a penis, and a vagina. sort of like malkovich’s feminine side”?
    so theres some agreement with you at least from charlie kaufman that portals are indeed vaginal, or at least one of his characters.

  28. Duoae Says:

    Nice thoughts…. though i have to agree with Jeep Barnett, though. I came to the same conclusion whilst deconstructing the game a little myself.

    I see it as an expression of a conflicting Mother-(teenage)daughter relationship – their differing wants and desires along with the “i know best” attitude that they both have.

    The companion cube represents man coming between the two and the arguments that they have over the boyfriend etc not to mention the pining over the cube and the fanatical obsession with the “first love”.

    Finally, as the game ends they go their separate ways after having a massive argument when they both realise that the other wasn’t so bad and was just doing what they were programmed to do/thought was best…… the mother (GLaDOS) wishes the daughter well and tells her that she is and always will be very proud of her and her actions and that she hopes that she has trained her well to survive in the world, alone….

    “The cake is a lie” statement must be referring to something common to many mother/daughter relationships but i’m missing it so far….

  29. Funny Pixelton Says:

    Your article makes me like Portal more…And I love Portal.

    But honestly, I think while this may or may not intentional, it is hard to deny the latent overtones. The designs of the portals, the shape of the gun, the strange connection you build over a cube with love on it, and then the tragedy that happens from broken expectations. That is a relationship.

    I also don’t think the companion cube is male. I don’t remember them referring to it as a “he” but if they did this is also the default pronoun for objects. It is a cube with a big pink heart on it afterall.

  30. razordullwit Says:

    The only thing I could think when I was reading this post was, “Seriously?”

    To paraphrase Freud: Sometimes an interdimensional super science portal is just an interdimensional super science portal.

  31. Chris P. Says:

    Clearly, cake is secret valve code for cunnilingus. And the companion cube’s suggested male gender coupled with it’s effeminate nature CLEARLY means that it’s a gay male.

    So the whole game is a carefully constructed metaphor for internal struggles within the gay community.

    Seriously, though. GLaDOS is necessarily genderless, in the same way that HAL is genderless and Shodan is genderless. Their inhumanity is a manifestation of their detachment; That’s why robots are so fucking scary, after all. Not to mention, GlaDDoS’s slavering “Anger” orb is voiced by a male, the lead singer from Faith No More, which complicates things a little.

    Also, could also make the case that you are opening rectums in the space-time-continuum instead of Vagays. It doesn’t make it any less gay, mind, just a different flavor of gay.

  32. Abe Froman Says:

    Don’t forget about how victory is achieved by incinerating all the balls…

  33. Verum Says:

    This is totally a game about Christianity.

    The companion cube is obviously a reference to earthly things like sex, and relationships, and while they’re healthy, nothing should come between you and God, for all you know your partner could be going to hell. GLaDOS tries to take you to the depths of hell when she’s trying to kill you. Remember all of those flames? The cake must refer to drugs, which are comforting, but damaging to your soul. “The Cake is a Lie” refers to the false effect that drugs have on you, they only make your life SEEM better. At the end, you have to disassemble GLaDOS, and I think the most important thing you destroyed was Anger, which goes to show you that you have to destroy your own anger to really be free.

    Did you notice that you can get the word GOD from GLaDOS?

    So who’s with me, the Church of Portal? Huh? seem like a good idea?

  34. SilverWind Says:

    I think that the great thing about Portal is that Chell’s gender isn’t made a big deal of, nor is GlaDOS; they simply are female (or in the latter case, she’s an ‘it’ that is referred to as a ‘she’) with no mention of GURL POWER!!!! or I AM A HOTTIE AND ALSO I CAN DO (SEXY) THINGS! We need more characters that just simply *are* female, IMO, for no particular reason.
    Another thing I liked was that Chell wasn’t prettied up for male audiences; she doesn’t look ugly, but she certainly isn’t unrealistically beautiful; she wears bulky coveralls instead of unpractical clothes, and her hair is all tied back and mussed up (as one would be, going through these tests).

  35. Sir Doom Says:

    By your logic (which I totally agree with), this isn’t a game about lesbians at all. This is a game about female masturbation. You have have a portal and you play with it. Afterall, it’s not GLaDOS’ portal, it’s Chell’s. You even get your own special tool to open *cough*stimulate*cough* your portal. Although Chris P. makes an excellent point about the nature of the portal’s symbolism. Indeed there are two portals you can play with so I’d say you’re both right. Here’s where we need an anatomy book to figure out whether the vagina is more of a blue portal or is it more orange.

    Although I suppose GLaDOS does introduce you to your portals. In fact the first one you go through isn’t yours at all. Ok, so maybe there is a lesbian element to the game, but I still stand by my original statement that this is masturbation game. I don’t even know what to say about the companion cube cuz it goes through your portal too but then it gets thrown into a different type of portal filled with fire at which point things become extra confusing and who really knows…

    So in closing, I will attack other posts in a relatively random fashion. @razordullwit: the point is that the game can be taken artistically meaning that it may have some value besides just a 4 hour time-sink. If that value is a weird triangular sexual-masturbatory relation between a woman, a computer, and a box (plus a fourth party fiery hole thing which gets some computer AND some box action) then so be it. @Tal: it is not a crime to interpret media. In fact that’s specifically what you do with it. It is a crime to see a piece of art which is thriving with ideas and possibility and then to say that nobody is allowed to think about it because the fallacy of a simple world is the only thing holding your life together… Sorry not flaming, I just really disagree with your point of view. @Wroth: I believe it was explained that the male protagonist shown in the original trailers was just a place holder so that nobody saw the real protagonist. I have no source to prove this however. I just hope the namedrop at the end of Episode 2 is all the inclusion Portal has in Half-Life. Otherwise it would seem a little hackish.

    So in double closing, never let a student of literary theory with a severe video game addiction talk about his two obsessions in concert lest idiocy and mild insults ensue.

  36. Killa Greg Says:

    You could say that perhaps GLaDOS was presenting Chell with the option of male companionship and that Chell Chose to throw him into the fire and continue on her quest.

  37. SidearmS Says:

    Some random points. Linked from Kotaku BTW…

    1)Last words from the computer in the elevator about the daughter day “…is a wonderful way to have her TESTED”? Uh, tested for what? Just what SCIENCE is being researched by GlaDOS?

    2)No males in the game (except for the cube, which you HAVE TO Kill, and later in other modes is replaced by a single ball – also manly). But then again, no males in the game creates a psycho female presence that kills. While also torturing a single FEMALE subject. No man – no sanity? No balance?

    3)She walks worse than Ryu from Shenmue in the animations. Bow legged, or action ready? You decide…

    4)Back to point 2, no male presence, so one is “created”. Then used long enough to get what you want done, then discarded. And be warned, the cube may stab you (?). Somewhere there is a body of a lonely repair man STONE COLD DEAD in the game engine. Right?

    5)Cake – because PIE would have been TOO obivous?

    6)The Vaginas Portal idea is interesting. Does the science hold up to the portal versus vagina comparions? I mean, as a male, does “speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out” apply to a vagina as well as a portal?

    7)The picture from the game above reminds me of Michele Rodriguez, but sober. Any thoughts on that one?

    Great conversation, I am glad I got to read this. Thanks.

    XBox 360 – From the song, “Still Alive”:

    I’m not even angry
    I’m being so sincere right now
    even though you broke my heart and killed me
    and torn into pieces
    and threw every piece into a fire
    as they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!

    More issues than a newstand there…

  38. blinky Says:

    Mild Spoilers:

    While playing the game I realized that because my character was a woman, and because she solves problems using a non-destructive (at least not directly destructive) portal device, there was a lot one could read into the plot if one were so inclined. Portal’s hero and gameplay is especially different when contrasted with it’s brother-game Half-life 2, wherein Gordon Freeman shoots the fuck out of the badguys in a much more conventional action-movie FPS style. Portal is different then 99% of games, which mostly involve punching or shooting living opponents. This is part of what makes the game so refreshing. There’s absolutely nothing in it that’s embarassing. I love me some Half-life 2, and Bioshock, and GTA and all, but goddamn do you shoot a lot of folks in the face in those games!

    Anyway, back to Portal. These things can be fun to think about, but short of Valve telling us one way or another, there’s no way of knowing if your interpretation is on the money or is reading WAY too much into things, or is partly supported (pro-woman, pro-avoiding the standard adolescent murder fantasy, but maybe not quite full on advocacy of lady on lady cunnilingus and a condemnation of those cursed with a Y chromosome).

    Keep in mind though, the Portal gameplay came first. The plot is probably totally secondary (despite being wonderful and adding so much to the overall quality of the game.) Games are generally different than books and movies, in that for the most part games aren’t initially intended as a message delivery system. That stuff gets added on later, if at all. The game mechanics and puzzles are worked out, by a team of (still mostly) men and women of varying sexual orientations, and then the plot and extras are added and adjusted. This is not to say that Portal ISN’T sporting some yonic imagery. That’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves (unless Valve comes out and says definitively one way or the other.) But it’s unlikely that whatever message might be in the game was present at the game’s inception.

    For me, outside of these fun considerations, the game is about making it through the tests, and escaping the lab. My character, who happens to be a woman, is the unfortunate victim of a bit of defense contracting gone horribly awry. (Or is she? The brilliantly provocative ending makes everything uncertain.) Being a (mostly) hetero male didn’t seem to keep me from being utterly enthralled by the game (but then again, we love pussy, and lesbians…)

    These things, while fun to think about, can also turn people off and become self parody and sometimes even counterproductive. A game has a woman as a main character and metions take your daughter to work day and us “loony lefties” predictably and to many, ridiculously, get all English 101 over-analytical about it. It’s a bit like when Italian American groups freak out over gangster movies. Goodfellas isn’t about ALL people of Italian descent. It’s about a hadfull of specific characters. Even if Portal’s main character is a dyke, Portal might just be about her, and not all dykes everywhere.

    “Oh boy, the main character in Half-life 2 is a white guy! What could this possibly MEAN?” Perhaps in an ideal world, considerations of Portal’s hidden meanings would seem equally absurd. Portal is hopefully NOT some sort of advocacy of lesbianism, because hopefully the designers of Portal take gay rights for granted and assume any thinking person does the same.

    In conclusion, sorry to post such a confused non-statement. I agree it’s fun to think about, that there might be something to it, that you’re going way too far/ not far enough.

    But really, you ought to play the damn game. It’s SO great. This is a game for non gamers, and gamers alike.

    PS: It’s hilarious that this discussion is even taking place considering one of Portal’s head writers, Erik Wolpaw used to be one of the main guys on the much missed (by me anyway) misanthropic game review site Old Man Murray. Erik is celebrated by the few of us who’ve heard of him, for his extremely offensive wit. Considering Erik was one of the advocates of the doomed catchphrase “vagina full of centipedes” it’s great that now a game on which he’s credited as Head Writer is being championed by some for possibly containing pretty PC subtexts.

  39. Holyoak Says:

    The protagonist is referred to as an android in the game. That would make this topic lees relevant, I think.

  40. H Says:

    My theory is this: It was originally a guy, until Valve realised that you’d be able to see the protagonist and there was no way round this. This isn’t like Freeman where you’ve got an invisible protagonist, this is a game that requires an avatar.
    Why female? This is a game that’s going to be played mostly by men (with, of course, a few notable exceptions) and men like looking at women, and find the female form reassuring. Look at Tomb Raider or Heavenly Sword: both games where the female form is constantly in the gaze of the game.

  41. SW1TCH Says:

    The portals are shaped the way they are for a reason – a human could not step through a prtal that was wider than it was tall, could they? That would make no sense, so the game designers simply made the portal in the outline of a human body…

    Seriously, sometimes people read into so many things way too much – What was that non-scary scary Jim Carrey movie, The Number 23?

  42. blinky Says:

    Holyoak, at the entrance to the first test chamber that contains machine gun sentries, GlaDOS explains that the (rather dangerous) chamber is designed for the testing of combat androids but due to some complications, you now have to go through it.

    When you get to the end of the chamber, you’re told something like, “Good job, android. Remember, Android hell is a real place, where you will be sent at the first sign of disobedience.”

    It’s a joke. It’s not meant to imply you are an android.

  43. daphny Says:

    portal is about how all women wish they could penetrate. its about female penis envy.

  44. A guy who makes games Says:

    I made a game for RPG Maker, and all four of the main characters are female. One of the “hidden” endings indeed involves a lesbian reference.

  45. h3llscaper Says:

    Remember when games were just games? Those were the days.

  46. Infernarl Says:

    where do the pixie-like gun drones come in? They actually have quite a few lines, and, therefore, a big effect on the overall experience.

  47. kelldreadlock Says:

    So the game has some girls in it, and that makes it for lesbians eh? Also, portals = vaginas and guns = penises? Thanks for reminding me why I don’t take the opinions of girl gamers seriously.

  48. blinky Says:

    Yeah! Don’t you hate how ALL “girl gamers” always use overreaching generalizations? You tell ’em kelldreadlock!

  49. not a male cube Says:

    Well it is referred to as male but you hear the machine mention that no one else had destroyed their cube that fast. Maybe it was because she didn’t feel any emotion to the cube since it was male making it easier for her to dispose of the companion cube. I played that level twice; once got rid of it pretty quickly then the second time took my sweet as time trying to find ways to keep the cube, couldn’t find a way to keep it must be destroyed and the machine said the same thing “no one else …”

  50. anony Says:

    To the posted of this article:

    Are you queer?

  51. Tyrion Says:

    So… change the standard sexes of all the protagonists of a FPS and it becomes a theme… I think this says more about the ridiculous sexism of games than about Portal being the gay.
    I just thought it was nice to have a female protagonist who wasn’t constantly reminding us “hey, I’m a gurl! Isn’t that different!”… I’m looking at you, Croft…

  52. Scott Jon Siegel Says:

    @ H3llscaper: Games were never just games. Don’t kid yourself.

  53. Angora Flattcappe Says:

    Hmmmm…. My husband wants a plushy cube…. hope they’re out by Xmas…

    What about a vibrating cube ? Then GLaDOS might think that the cube was a ‘Man Substitute’ (which could have hearts on… I’ve seen pink cutesy ones in Ann Summers…) and come between Chell and ‘itself’; and it also doubles as a step to reach those high cupboards and lightbulbs… now just gotta figure out a way to get it to mow the lawn… ;P

    GLaDOS does remind me a bit of GLADIS from Totally Spies…

  54. Angora Flattcappe Says:

    lol, deconstructing is fun!

    *edit: I meant that cutesy ‘Man Substitutes’ were in the shops, not cutesy cubes… yet…

  55. Sage Says:

    Sage goes in every field.

  56. Anonymous Says:

    Its been said that something can be satisfying, yet ultimately amount to nothing. And example would be taking a shit. While this is a good game, it still a logic game, not a work of art.

  57. m00t Says:

    Looks like someone has penis envy!

  58. Snacks Says:

    I love ramming my crowbar through an unwilling portal.

  59. wut Says:

    I’m assuming you have a computer in your kitchen you used to type this.

  60. Ondore Says:

    This an accurate and very rational conclusion to come to about this game.

  61. Sah-gay Says:

    get back to making cake

  62. haha oh wow Says:

    GLaDOS is a woman, Chell is a woman: All women are either conniving, evil bitches, or mute, submissive nothings that need a man to take control.

    Companion cube is the only male: The lesson is that if you even come into contact with a woman, you will die in a fire.

    Cake: All women are slavering, hungry sluts who need something crammed into their holes in order to feel complete.

  63. Man Says:

    wemem make a cake men eat the cake because we have a penis!

  64. Shin-Chan Says:


  65. Anonymous Says:

    This game is all about why men should have total domination over women.

  66. ZoneSlash Says:

    well, you may chatter and discuss all that you will about it, but i have no doubt of what i find in this game;

    fun with portals – be they vaginas, baloons, spaghettimonsters, or whatever, i know this: i make a portal, and i make another one, then use momentum to go through one and exit the other to obtain a goal, often using gravity to boost that momentum, but nowhere in the Portal game i play do i see pussies on the wall nor penisguns; i see portals on the walls, and a neat portalgun.

    how about actually proving some of these claims that you so drastically put forth; make a genuine psychological study of it where you put up a thesis, investigate the data(the game and its content), make opinioniated assumptions which you then attempt to disprove or prove, using logical debating at each point on the way(no, an oval opening is not always a pussy, you dopehat!), from which you draw a conclusion, of course offering conclusions that are drawn from both the affirmating and deffirmating points of view discussed after assembling the data in a structured fashion.

    I do see there is a large quantity of feline textures, objects, and voice acting bits – however i’d like you to explain the huge quantity of metallic(male) objects, textures, the mere clothing of the female character, the fact that the female character overcomes largely male challenges(get through this, put this on that, take this from there and put it here, destroy this, knock that over, get to this place, award: cake!)

    What is the cake then, if this game is indeed a visual/audial impression of some lesbian plot; what role does the cake play… if the cake is indeed drugs, then is the game stating by your point of view that lesbian sex leads to drug abuse? the cake is a lie, and i’m sure noone doesn’t know this, but when something is a lie, it is direct support of the opposite; if the cake is a lie, then the not-cake must be true – if the cake is awarded for lesbian sex/masturbation, then the true not-cake must be awarded for straight sex, and already there i’ve dismantled this foolish claim of Portal bearing much in the ways of messages about sexual conduct.

    One assumption can be made here, and that assumption is confirmed by all of the above posts that agree with the articles claims, or attempt to distort them elsewhere: y’guys and gals all need to get laid some more, ‘cuz obviously you can’t get the idea of pussies and penises being everywhere outta your heads :p

    P.S: i am a male gamer, i love portal(play everyday, even the flash version when i’m at work gets worn well with me), yet… i don’t like lesbian sex at all; i like my girlfriend… care to explain why i then would love this game when i’m clearly not lesbian of sexual orientation, nor derive any pleasure from the idea of it? ^^

  67. Anonymous Says:

    This is a gigantic leap of logic that seems to be an odd reaction to playing a game that doesn’t have a male-majority cast. A proper response to this would be to call such male-majority cast games for homosexual men, correct? Either way, I was hoping that this would be an interesting look on a highly popular game, but instead this blog looks like a failed attempt on multiple levels, except when it comes to getting attention. You got that nailed.

  68. Samuel Says:

    Pretty gay theory you got there

  69. Pedro Says:

    Worth mention that Mike Patton is the voice of the last sphere of GLaDOS, the one that represents anger. So that means that all things evil are man?

  70. Angry customer Says:

    I just read your article. Now I want my IQ back.

    Did you ever consider that maybe, just maybe, you’re looking WAY too deeply into this?

  71. Alex Says:

    Jesus Christ, Zoneslash, you’re a complete tool. You don’t need to lash out against this. This isn’t preaching, and nobody’s trying to argue any of these points to be true or anybody else’s views to be false because of it. It’s just a suggestion of how something can be interpreted. Speculation. You don’t need to start a war over it.

    Augh, I just scrolled up and reread your comment and now I’m just pissed at you again. You’re dumb. You’re challenging everyone to disprove your views when you’re obviously too closed minded to accept what anyone else thinks. You’re waiting for a retaliation so that you can dismiss it and consider it a victory so that you can inflate your sense of self-importance even more.

    God, you also do that thing that every cocky arsehole of a gamer with a girlfriend does where you tell the world you’ve got a girlfriend so that you can then tell them that their problem is that nobody’s fucking them. Go away.

  72. Noel Veiga Says:

    Here’s a link to a Gametrailers thread where I present an alternative theory. To me, Portal is all about mother/daughter relationships. Working v. staying at home and other female role conflicts. Check it out.


  73. WaliWorld Says:

    Wow, you have have no earthly idea how far in to the wild blue you went in that article. I find it odd that if their is a man as the main character, it is just another game(good or bad), no further thought needed. but if a woman plays the role, then some people are likely to exploded onto the forums (and here) about the under lying female tone, the usually none existent implications of a woman at the helm, and occasionally, the males-are-inferior bit. don’t you think you are looking a little too deeply into the “women are slowly taking over the game space” rave and or subsequent raves? In reality it could be that that valve had her in a classified back story bit and they told the portal team “hey lets integrate the half-life story into portal with this girl (she is likely to be in episode three or half-life 3 since she is not dead). nevertheless it great to see more women in the game industry both in-game and playing the games, THAT is what this should be about. not this pseudo-political “women vs men” crap. C’mon we are past that. and for everyone who flamed here, you should not be so damn insubordinate! can we at least be a TINY bit constructive on our criticism?

  74. WaliWorld Says:

    another thing is some woman get overly exited about the fact that there is a girl be played instead of a man. and also have websites (like this one) that are dedicated these minute details. while most men and women just play the game and either like or dislike it. much like Mac owners rant and rave about the newest fade effect in their GUI or the how pretty their toolbar is. while Windows users just do what they want to do and add zoomy effects later, that is to say if the even care. again my question is why does it matter?

  75. jimD Says:

    Well, I…dunno. All discussion is good discussion though.

    I’m male and I’m dead pleased that we are having more female characters. When I play a game I like to see something feasible which is consistent in the game’s reality and therefore usually by extension our own. Not where every foray into a powerful female character is an complex and deep exploration into the nature of sexual (bent or straight) philosophy.

    I have the feeling that people are under the impression that portal is opening the proverbial ‘portal’ for their own opinions and grievances. Under the cover of portal the game ,there are the same primitive debates that have going on for years.

    Don’t get me wrong though , that’s just my humble opinion. Interesting reading !!!!.

  76. Alex Says:

    JimD has the right idea. Cerebralcow does not.

  77. Alex Says:

    Zoneslash is still a tool.

  78. Alex Says:

    Alex is pathetic.

  79. Vicious Love Says:

    “We could say the cube doesn’t count as a real male character–only an object. It’s still feminized by the hearts. But if we’re sticking with the idea that it’s a “man,” we could call it commentary on the usefulness of men: they’re cute, but they’re a burden. Any other ideas?”

    You do realize GlaDOS makes you incinerate your cube, right? One of two points where she clearly takes issue with Chell’s heterosexuality. To quote her at a later point in the game “”If you love that thing so much then why don’t you marry it? Do you want to marry it? WELL I WON’T LET YOU! How does _that_ feel?”

    Unrequited love is a terrible, cube-endangering thing.

  80. Wilker Says:

    Heh. Silly.

    War games: Gun shoot bullets which rip holes through walls, vehicles, humans, targets, etc.

    Portal: Gun shoots beam that rips holes through the physical universe.

    Definately smells like lesbians.

  81. Berrie Says:

    Why can’t we leave a game with female majority cast that doesn’t make a big deal out of it, be. Why does it have to be “for lesbians” if there are no male characters. It is this kind of thinking that keeps game-casts majorily male.

    Also the portals are oval because of cosmetics. Have you thought about rectangular, large cuboid or large circular portals. The oval form is a more pleasant and ergonomic design.

  82. Geko Says:

    I’m going to have to do the diplomatic thing here and agree with the original article as well as many of the detractors in the comments.

    For the people who are saying variations on “you are peering too deeply into a meaningless void” and “just because they chose a chick instead of a dude doesn’t mean anything.” At best, they are essentially saying “metaphors, symbolism, and other similar methods of insinuation don’t exist.” At worst, those individuals (likely gamers themselves and proud of it) are saying “OTHER forms of entertainment can and do use symbolism and metaphors, but my chosen favorite form is a medium that is, by definition, devoid of literary merit and deserves no intellectual reflection.” It is those “gamers” (do they deserve to even call themselves that?) that I pity most. EVERY creative choice has a meaning, blatant or latent, intentional or accidental. There IS a distinct female presence in many of Portal’s game elements, and to deny that is to willfully protect yourself from what may be too contradictory for you to fit into your worldview.

    Where the theory breaks down for me is the unsupported leap from feminine to lesbian. In point one and three (actually, MENTIONED in point one) the references are not ones of sex but of gender. Point two is the only one that makes reference to relations, in particular the phrase “broke my heart” (“Companion” is quickly dealt with in the article itself by noting that the WCC is referred to in the masculine). I think the commenters who point out that a broken heart can result from things other than sex are spot on. GLaDOS’s “life’s work,” in essence, was twisting this particular lab of Aperture Science to fit her own controlling ends and becoming the master of it. Having your life’s work destroyed by someone who you have come to care about would break your heart, no matter what sex either of you are. Compare the struggle in Portal to the struggle between Dave Bowman and HAL. Dave came to like and trust HAL like a friend and a brother, and many would say HAL did Dave as well, as far as he could. When Dave plodded down the hall to HAL’s databank, heart heavy with remorse and HAL’s omnipresent voice pleading with all the emotion that a digital monotone could muster, both of their hearts were breaking. To suggest their hearts were breaking due to their homosexuality is a hard pill to swallow. And in fact, that is quite near to my point.

    As I mentioned before, insinuations can be made intentionally or accidentally, and I believe the author has inadvertently opened up a large can of worms. It is hard to recontextualize the genitals away from sex. A picture of a penis is a picture of a penis. But a penis is built for sex and there’s no two ways about it. To follow that logic, an ovoid gun that shoots orifices is about vaginas. Vaginas are about sex. Sex in a female-female dichotomy is about lesbianism. Lesbianism can be reached through that logic, but at the same time it is saying that ALL OTHER SHOOTING GAMES ARE HOMOSEXUAL. You have a traditional gun that shoots a bullet (both male power objects and phallic symbols) into another man (the act of sex). Saying that female characters in FPSs obviates that problem is a fallacy (pun intended) because it’s still dicks versus dicks; who can get their dick into the other dick-wielder. This slippery slope of an argument thus gets applied to any television show/movie/world war that contains gun violence.

    If the author would like the dubious distinction of positing that “Portal is for lesbians, and by extension, every other game is for homosexuals,” I would say that the reasoning is there and would have no qualms. For now, I’ll just stick with Portal being a feminine themed game and leave it at that. If you need a different title but don’t want to forsake the joke, might I suggest “PORRTL POWER.” Not as catchy, but more correct.

  83. Geko Says:

    I would also like to point out ZoneSlash’s hilarious Freudian slip of replacing “female” with “feline.”

  84. Coppelia Says:

    The majority of commenters are taking this too seriously.
    This doesn’t strike me as a serious “this is absolutely about lesbians!” sort of post. It’s just playing with some undertones. A couple years ago I said that Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII was Santa Claus, but I couldn’t write an essay supporting that. This is just like that, but less ridiculous.

    Short version: it’s just for fun, you guys. Calm down.

  85. Coppelia Says:

    Also “Portal is for lesbians” is a riff on “Virginia is for lovers,” not a declaration that only homosexual females can play it. It’s the first line of the post, dumbasses.

  86. 5parrowhawk Says:

    Hmm. By that token, the bullet-hell shmups I love must be a metaphor for contraception from the female POV. You have to avoid all these things that are heading for you; you can let them slide past you or touch you (and you sometimes get extra points for that!), as long as they don’t penetrate to your core.

    See, everything is about sex if you think hard enough ;)

    Portal is only about lesbianism if you constrain yourself to think about the act of penetration, of entry rather than exit. What is it with this penetration complex anyway? If you think about it from the POV of *exiting* the portal, things become quite different:

    I see GlaDOS more as a dominating mother-figure than a lesbian lover for Chell, actually. The metaphor is one of a child attempting to escape from under the grip of a dominant mother and being born and reborn; the portals are not so much vulvae to be entered as they are to be *exited*. The act of being born is repeated many, many times in the game: every time Chell exits a portal, and when she passes through that tube, and especially in the end when she’s being forced out of the world she knows, a world surrounded and permeated by the presence of her mother-figure, into the light of the outside world. It is significant that she is forced into the outside world rather than arriving there under her own power (by running, or using a portal, or by commandeering some sort of vehicle); the latter scenario would be more common in this sort of science-fiction setting. It is also significant that she arrives there alive and conscious, and the sunlight is a deliberate counterpoint to the darkness of the facility, a darkness which you don’t really notice until it’s contrasted against HDR-powered sunlight.

    Seen in this light, the Companion Cube represents the controlling mother’s inability to allow her daughter to form meaningful relationships. The turrets represent the people in society who claim to care for Chell, but instead exert social pressure on her to stay with her “mother”. And after Chell leaves the nest, GlaDOS mourns that her heart is broken but claims to be “happy for her”.

    Of course, people smarter than me have probably figured all this out already.

    And did you notice that at the end of it you get… a *birth*day cake?

  87. Dicai Says:

    WHAT? I’ve read the entire page for someone who could throw that stupid theory away, and I found them… I really think this “Conspiracy Theory” of game for lesbians is just plain dumb!

    Look at this similar kind thoery:”Portal” begins with “P”, like “Politics”, “Penis”, “Penetration”, “Punch”, etc…

    This is thinking WAY out of context!!! Just because you can find two women it doesn’t imply that they are lesbians or because they fought about the jealousy for loving/killing the asexual inanimated object(read “Companion Cube”).

    Also, where in your stupid minds is the part that compared the ASHPD with a penis?!!

    PORTAL is PORTAL, no side references!! Do you think that Gabe Newell sat down and started thinking “Let’s do a game with all female characters to resemble lesbianism, and make an obvious likeness with the gun with penis”

    Like razordullwit said:
    “To paraphrase Freud: Sometimes an interdimensional super science portal is just an interdimensional super science portal.”

  88. [MPF] MentalPolyphonics.com » What’s Inside the Weighted Companion Cube? Says:

    […] have taken the yonicity of Portal more literally: the game is not simply feminine, it’s lesbian. More specifically, the “predatory lesbian” genre. (If you think they’re reading […]

  89. Pete Tong Says:

    The companion cube is reffered to as he, but in the end you do kill him.
    a metaphor worth exploring?

  90. Diego M. Says:

    After all, in the “Half-Life: Raising the bar” book, the developers explain that many of the creatures in the HL universe have “sexual themes” a good example is the Gonarch or “Big Momma”, who looks like they are the “headcrab queens”, they give birth to the “Headcrab” creatures.
    Well, in the book, many of the developers of the game (between them Marc Laidlaw, the writer of the whole HL universe, in which Portal is situated), refer to it literally as a “Giant testicle with spider/crab legs”, and it was intentionally designed as such.
    It’s not that strange that Portal mentions so much the women, maybe it’s strange for gamers that haven’t seen any female-centric games.
    Also, it’s not that strange that the Portals=Vaginas is a rather good theory. That’s all, Valve likes to have complicated stories at their games, and sexual themes, but not in the manner that they are applied to other games (Example: Exuberant Men/Women that serve as sexual reclaim, well yeah, maybe Alyx from HL2 it’s a bit sexual reclaim, but it’s as exuberant as other women that I usually see and talk), but in a more, subtle, Lovecraftian if you like, way.

    And sorry for any misspellings, I’m not a native English speaker.


  91. Anonny Says:

    Companion cube=AWESOME!

    That’s all, folks!

  92. CelebrenIthil Says:

    Portal = Hole = Vagina.
    Way to go.
    Make sure you don’t look too closely at your noserils… or your ears… or your belly button….

    Anything that is vaguely oblong = penis.
    Great. Pencils, guns, lamp posts, trees, a lighthouse, nails….
    Well why don’t you take one of those and stick it in one of your orifices stated above? Everything should work out well and nice according to the proper logic of things.

    Also, more than 1 woman in the same general area without proper male supervision = hot lesbian sex.
    Also, lesbians, when not having hot sex, like to burn males.

    Finally; “insert sexist joke about the fact a game without any male in the cast is an abomination or a porn thing (then it’s good), about woman being inferior and how your penis is awesome and how they should shut up and bake you some cake afterwards” and laugh a lot.
    Then laugh some more- if you manage to sound like an ape you win 30 extra points.

    Then show your post to your mother and feel proud.


  93. auntie pixelante › glados bound Says:

    […] also reminds me of heroine sheik’s reading of portal as queer, though slut loves to get on my nerves by suggesting it can as easily be read as a game about penis […]

  94. Portal: A game for tied-up lesbians? Says:

    […] Heroine Sheik makes the point that Portal features an all-female cast (the weighted companion cube is referred to as “he”, but c’mon, there’s pink hearts all over it!), and GLaDOS references Chell breaking her heart, implying some sort of relationship. I never took her comments in that light, it seemed more like the ramblings of a crazy person than an admission of romantic love. […]

  95. The Guy Says:

    It’s a game about CAKE!!

    Creator commentary much?

  96. Lil-Kitty Says:

    NOt all games that have a female character is all gay for one. I am a game player in these games XD and I am not gay or a lesbo or whatever :3 it’s about having fun so stop saying every game is all about lesbos and gay guys damn XD just play it and actually enjoy the game aye?

  97. The Plush Apocalypse » Blog Archive » How can a game be subversive? Says:

    […] connections rather than destroying life.” Bonnie Ruberg equates the portals with vaginas, […]

  98. I Don't Think So Says:

    I really can’t stand this sort of thing. It’s like being back in high school English – people projecting their own personal opinions and perspectives onto the work as opposed to simply reading and absorbing the author’s intent. I’m seriously tired of the queer and feminist communities reading too far into media and turning them into talking points. Though, I will give the queer folk credit – at least they take it in a positive light, you know, “Hey, this thing is about being gay! Yeah!” The feminists perpetually go negative, they see something and start screaming PATRIARCHY PATRIARCHY MISOGYNY MISOGYNY RAPE RAPE RAPE! And for all the feminists (I should say, feminist activists) who are pissed off by what I just said, take a look at this: http://users.livejournal.com/_allecto_/34718.html. QED.

    Honestly, Portal isn’t about homosexuality – or sex at all. It just isn’t. When GLaDOS talks about love or her heart being broken, she’s trying to guilt-trip the player. She does it throughout all of level 19. But there’s nothing (and I mean NOTHING) to indicate that what she talks about goes anything beyond the platonic, particularly with the Companion Cube. The game wants you to care about the Cube, it doesn’t want to you to have sex with the Cube or be attracted to the Cube. GLaDOS doesn’t want you to be attracted to her, have a relationship with her, or have sex with her – (how would you go about screwing a series of spheres anyway?) she wants to kill you. She wants to lure you into a false sense of security and kill you. She doesn’t want to lure you into that false sense of security by turning you on and taking advantage of your passion, she wants you to feel like you’re safe, and then murder you in your sleep. I don’t see how you read “lesbian” into this, unless you’re implying that most lesbians are half-deranged, psychotic-yet-lovable murderers.

    As for the portal-vagina thing… how else would you design a portable portal intended for human transport besides an ellipse of the approximate dimensions of the human body? You don’t want to waste energy creating a portal that is spherical or square. The shape they chose is the most efficient one. I don’t think the creators went “Hey, let’s put some vaginas in this game!” Particularly since the gameplay was invented far before any of the story came into play. The story was built around the Portal device, not the other way around.

    Finally… no. FPS games are not about raping others with your penis-gun. They’re about emulating war. And I’m sure you can go on and on about how war is just men’s sexual repression expressing itself as violence or some other addle-brained idea, but war is about killing people, usually people who are trying to kill you. That tends to be what the FPS genre is about. Killing people, without the real-world consequences of killing people. Sure, if you think about it too long, you realize it’s pretty sick. But damn, it’s fun.

  99. Thinking with Portals. « Groping The Elephant Says:

    […] into it, that really exists. Just because it’s possible to read Portal as a message on lesbianism doesn’t necessarily mean you should. I think I could make a good case for Gears Of Wars […]

  100. Mikewee777 Says:

    I agree with you. I thought I was alone in this theory that the robot was just some sick, elderly robot with lesbian bsdm issues. No sane, straight girl could seriously go up to you and ask you to break her heart and them proceed to try to murder you once you do what she asks you.

    It really saddens me that the rest of humanity failed to figure this out. So now we have drunken youtube viewers around a campfire practicing a moronic ritual, like some kind of terrorist.


  101. Nenaptio Says:

    The companian cube is a girl, if you go to the secret room, the companian cube is attached as a head on top of a woman XD

  102. tritsberdeets Says:

    Among the worst was the green color. Other guests may actually relish the idea of the two of you sitting down together for your married meals using silverware that they bought you. I am just finishing up a tin of Mariage Freres’ tea called Bouddha Bleu and am looking for another tin. We have both grown up a lot, and learned a lot. Please if I can give you anything out of my loss take my word for it, this will diffuse the situation in a second and restore your love back.

  103. Portal grą dla lesbijek? « Altergranie Says:

    […] próbą przykucia uwagi poprzez użycie słowa na “l”, tylko dosłownym tłumaczeniem pytania, jakie zadała Bonnie Rueberg na swoim blogu odnośnie nowej gry Valve dołączanej do zestawu The […]

  104. Jade Reporting » October 30 Says:

    […] Portal: The latest, greatest women’s game? “Portal is for Lesbians” ‘Portal’ Is for Lesbians […]

  105. 20071110 - Adam Crowe Says:

    […] Heroine Sheik – ‘Portal’ Is for Lesbians “3) We’ve talked before about how the guns in first-person shooters act as phallic avatars–that is, as penises. But in a world of women, this gun doesn’t shoot bullets. It shoots orifices. Openings. Fine, vaginas.” Hehe (tags: portal avatars sexuality gaming trends gender politics funny extensionsofman penis) […]

  106. Trinyan Says:

    How about these? On the Aperature Science website, in the application form you can fill out, it asks what wild animal you would most like to domesticate. The list is very long, but some of the choices include Beaver, Booby, various varieties of Tit, and Carpet Shark (which are all real animals, but could easily be taken as support of your hypothesis).

  107. Viper7 Says:

    Just wondering… did any one notice?
    “Aperture Science Computer-Aided Enrichment Center” can be pronounced as … asscake!

  108. Daniel Panzer Says:

    Let’s make something very clear:
    Portal is NOT for lesbians, that is a terrible statement.
    Plenty of MEN enjoyed Portal, including myself.

    I can give you very good reasons why the main character was changed to a female:


    They changed the main character to a female so as to avoid the sexual innuendos of MALES ENTERING & EXITING PORTALS AKA VAGINAS.

    When I played the game, it was about the puzzles, until GLADOS TRIED TO KILL ME in which the game became an intense game of escaping the psychotic computer program. There was this side plot of Glados putting a bunch of test subjects through these “tests” keeping them in utter isolation to the point of these test subjects getting attached to thus said “companion cube.” If anything, I was wondering why Glados was keeping a lot of innocent girls captive and running them through these tests just to kill them… I thought Glados was an insanely scary computer program who killed everyone in charge to run her insane program… BLACK MESA tore apart the dimensions & brought aliens to Earth, while APERATURE created a psycho program that killed everyone, oh the irony.

    I feel that your view of lesbianism in this game is really forced. Basically, you took something and raped it via lesbianism, like raping a prepubescent girl with a dildo. There are a lot of females who complain that they are portrayed in a sexual way, and by you saying that Portal implies lesbianism, you are not helping these women. And now the next time I play Portal all I will be able to think about is LESBIAN SEX. I suppose your job is to make things sexual though, so thank you for ruining Portal for me, I might as well go watch a lesbian porno.

  109. Infinite Lives » Video Game Feminist of the Decade: or, when “You” is a girl Says:

    […] theme and action of the narrative. The disembodied voice goes to great lengths to tell you so, and she sounds pretty invested in your fate, which is creepy in its own […]

  110. lessouly Says:

    come and check out this new dating site for lesbians..(married with men..!!)..all together in one place..be there..you too..!!

  111. Audiophile Says:

    Life. Get one.

  112. Jas Says:

    the companion cube is a guy, and just because it’s a game with most of the characters girls dosn’t make it lesbian.

    Metal Gear Solid is allmost all guys, that doesn’t make it gay.

  113. Dunno Says:

    You can think of the companion cube as the gay best friend.

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  115. Portal is about lesbians | technovagabond Says:

    […] There have been a number of people who have tried, and failed, to argue that Portal was about lesbians. (From what my minimal research can tell, it’s all just people talking about this post.) […]

  116. portal 2 game Says:

    Fresh coming from irc and also prior to street date! Portal 2 release… One can get a hold of it right here: http://www.easy-share.com/1914756939/Portal.2.Loader-GANJA.rar

  117. Cool Games Says:

    Just finish playing Portal 2 is pretty good and I am not a Lesbian lol.

  118. Caitlyn Says:

    I do consider all the ideas you’ve offered to your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too quick for novices. Could you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  119. Kaeleigh Says:

    Tvtropes sent me here. I like. Thank you. :D

  120. klp Says:

    Lolololol, totally going with this!

    So Glados gives Chell a “Gun” that opens “Portals”, and you play with them- clearly, she handed her a Vibrator! Thus, Glados is a seductress.

    The Cubes come out of long tubes, they represent the possible offspring Chell might have. But they are “weighted”. They hold Chell back. And Glados makes Chell destroy them. Even the Companion Cube. So Glados doesn’t want Chell to have Children, and forces her to kill them. Maybe because getting pregnant is tied to heterosexuality, or because Glados wants to be the mother. It would fit her overimposing ways.

    Chell eventually destroys Glados MORALITY core, and her voice goes all deep and seductive. Also note the round shape of the cores. Chell either destroys Glados’ breasts in an attempt to free herself from the homosexuality Glados imposed on her OR Chell castrates Glados symbolically by shooting of her balls. With a cannon. OR Chell uses her PORTALS to redirect MISSILES from a CANNON towards Glados. Aha, they are trying for a child with the help of a sperm donor! So Glados is the mother after all!

    Gee, this is fun.

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