Undergrads at Wabash College college required to play Portal

It’s the end of August, which means students are preparing to head back to school, rekindle friendships, and get knee deep in coursework. But according to a report, at an Indiana college, that coursework not only consists of reading literary novels, but also playing Valve’s award winning Portal.

Freshmen at the all-boys Wabash College in Indiana must enroll in a course called “Enduring Questions” that explores “fundamental questions of humanity” through “classical and contemporary works.” One of those works in Valve’s Portal.

Apparently inspired by this game theory article that drew comparisons between Portal and Erving Goffman’s 1959 sociology text The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, professor Michael Abbot decided he’d nominate the game as one of the works students must study and discuss to pass the class.

And bam! A body of non-gaming colleagues said, “sure, that sounds like a good idea.” And now students in select trial sections will read Goffman’s text and follow it up play by playing Portal.

Abbot said he considered BioShock and Planescape Torment for the project, but chose Portal because of its relative brevity.

Video games in college classrooms, might this soon be a thing? Hopefully!