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E-Rated Video Game Finally Courts Controversy

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THE SPATE IS A LIE
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If you try hard enough, you can find a reason to be offended in just about anything. Just ask a group of ignorant suburbanites at a Harry Potter book burning, or the zero-tolerance school administration that suspends a kid for hugging a fellow student. But you'll never have to search too hard to find some trembling parent complaining to the media about a video game that ruined their child's innocence.

Even for a wholly innocuous game like Portal 2.

Amidst the game's brainy strategy and hardcore violence on par with Super Mario Kart, one parent was pretty outraged over one character's remarks on adoption. (For fun: See how many things this WBTV news report gets wrong about the game and how little the anchors are familiar with it.)


The main character in Portal 2, Chell, is mocked by the mechanized antagonists GLaDOS and Wheatley within the game's mind-bending puzzles. Aside from tossing barbs about Chell's imperceptible weight gain, the two villains also insult Chell for being an orphan. Neil Stapel of North Carolina was shocked to hear such remarks while playing the game with his ten-year-old adopted daughter.

"I don't know what to do," said Stapel. "I still don't know what to do. It literally pokes fun for not having parents. It throws the most ultimate question that child is ever going to have for you right into the living room."

Like "Will robots ever become so smart and powerful, they will subject us to deadly laser labyrinths?"

And while father Stapel was flipping his lid to the media, his ten-year-old daughter remains unaffected. As if, I dunno, she recognizes context, has self-respect, and isn't so thin-skinned as to immediately jump to outrage. This may only be my opinion, but it would seem a news report only calls more attention to the subject and forces the young girl to question why she wasn't offended by the remarks.

And come on. If Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Futurama has taught us anything, you really have to try to be offended by wise-talking robots.

(See also: Video: Hilarious Mash-Up of Super Mario Bros. and Portal and Has Microsoft Declared War on Carriers?)
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