What could one possibly find offensive about the critically lauded Portal 2, an inventive, all ages-friendly game? Are those turrets too violent? Is the jazz too smooth? No, it's the jokes about adoption that have one Portal fan (and one local news team) riled up.
So says a report today from Charlotte, North Carolina's CBS affiliate WBTV (which, by the way, may contain spoilers for Portal 2 players). Neal Stapel, adoptive father to Zoey, a Chinese orphan, says he was upset with the barbs slung by Portal 2's antagonists, insults that belittle the playable Chell for her (alleged) adopted status. Morons and the overweight are also mocked by robots.
In Portal 2, Chell's arch-nemeses tease her for her non-existent weight gain and her lack of birth parents, puerile, bullying taunts that offer color into their respective characters. But the jabs at her being adopted were too much for Stapel.
"It literally pokes fun for not having parents," he says, seeming to choke up in WBTV's news broadcast. He played the PlayStation 3 version of Portal 2 with his kids, but stopped when the adoption jokes kicked in. "It throws the ultimate question that that child is ever going to have for you... and it just throws it right in the living room."
Yes, it's got to be a bit awkward for adoptive parents if they're experiencing this in front of their non-biological kids, but Chell's enemies are also trying to kill her, which I'd find much more upsetting if I were her. But, hey, I wasn't adopted and can't personally relate to the conflicting emotions of such a situation.
Kotaku reached out to Valve to see if they had any comment on the matter, though they didn't before this story aired, reportedly.