About a month ago just before the run up to the Eurogamer expo 2011 (which Mat C and myself covered here), Joel Goodwin, a.k.a. Harbour Master of Electron Dance, posted up a discussion the two of us had about our experience with the little miracle that is the Portal 2 co-op campaign entitled Men of Science. Joel without me realising also recorded some of our antics and spliced them together to form a very special and unique video perfectly capturing the spirit of co-op play we were both apparently very high on at the time. You can certainly tell I was. It’s rare enough to have so much fun playing co-operatively, but to have parts of that experience neatly replayed back to you verbatim — parts that were slipping off the edge of memory — is very bizarre indeed.
Joel elaborates on the video and pretty much hits the nail on the head in his first comment after the discussion:
One thing I should have brought up in our discussion is how the video demonstrates play – particularly multiplayer play – as a form of performance art. When I played The Aspiration, I could point at my complex alien role-play in Neptune’s Pride and say “here’s some performance art shit, right here”. But you might not notice the same thing going on here.
I took footage at random points throughout the game and although I knew when the camera was rolling, Gregg never did. You’re seeing the real Gregg there; those are things he said and did. We’re almost role-playing two guys playing Portal 2. For example, we frequently overreacted to the appearance of crushers and grinders; Gregg’s opening speech in the video on “a big scary room” is brilliant. And we often played up the visual complexity of a chamber.
Did we need to? No. Did we enjoy doing so? Yes. The video says this: co-op is fun because it’s about two people making something together. The game is the circus tent; we get to be the clowns.
Since our discussion Valve have pitched their next circus tent in the form of some Portal 2 DLC so we get to be the clowns again! Yay!
Anyway, I’d like to thank Joel for not only asking me to
be his test subject join him but also for immortalising a truly great experience and making such an entertaining video out of it. Men of Science can be witnessed right here, go see!
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