Portal required playing at Wabash College - Report

Students at an Indiana all-men school obligated to play Valve's puzzle shooter as part of mandatory freshmen seminar.

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College students across the country are returning to coursework, friends, and parental freedom soon, but the freshmen class at an Indiana college will find an all-new type of curriculum awaiting them.

According to a Mashable report, Valve's award-winning puzzle game Portal will appear alongside The Epic of Gilgamesh, Hamlet, and other required materials for incoming freshmen at Wabash College.

Unlike the cake, this course is not a lie.
Unlike the cake, this course is not a lie.

The game will be part of the college's "Enduring Questions" freshman seminar, which explores "fundamental questions of humanity" through "classical and contemporary works."

Michael Abbot, a theater professor at the school, is helping to design the course. Abbot was reportedly inspired to include Portal in the course's required experience material by a game theory article that drew similarities between the game and Erving Goffman's 1959 sociology text The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

According to the report, Abbot showed Portal to "non-gaming colleagues" and was pleased to learn that they approved of his plan to include both Goffman's work and Valve's game in the course's curriculum. During the course, students will read Goffman's text followed by a "collective playthrough" of Portal.

While experiencing Portal will not be part of every Enduring Questions section, it is currently being tested by Abbot and his colleagues in select courses.

Further, Abbot said he considered BioShock and Planescape Torment for the class but decided upon Portal because of its relative brevity.

As for the game franchise, Portal 2 is due out on February 9 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Mac. For more on the series, check out GameSpot's impressions of Portal 2 and review of the original Portal.

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