Category Archives: Half Life

We Serve the Mystery: the Vortessence, Quantum Entanglement, and Personal Connection in Half-Life 2

Sit with me, readers, and I will tell you a tale of a legendary game called Half-Life 2.

Born the prodigal child of the esteemed Valve Corporation (masters of science fiction, speakers of great humor, forgers of ten-thousand funny hats), Half-Life 2 is set 20 years after the original Half-Life, in a post-apocalyptic dystopia where theoretical physicist Gordon Freeman is released from metaphysical containment and sent on a mission to free humanity from its alien oppressors. The game was received with critical acclaim for its well-oiled physics engine and nigh-on flawless narrative. It also seamlessly weaves sophisticated science into every aspect of its presentation, from puzzles to game mechanics and storytelling, and therein something very interesting happens: science and spirituality begin to blend into a single entity so tightly entwined they become indistinguishable. Even love becomes a piece of that culmination, until science is responsible for the strength of human bonds, through spiritual and material connections which keep the heroes grounded in their great journey and lead them on to glorious purpose.

Okay, that might’ve been an overindulgent summary. It is, however, largely accurate, up to and including the notion of the scientific and spiritual being represented by the same theoretical body in the Half-Life universe. Though it may have an idiosyncratic name and follow in the vein of mythical cosmoses in other stories, it is unique in that it bears a striking resemblance to a familiar scientific idea: quantum entanglement. In Half-Life 2, the ethereal body called the Vortessence and the scientific concept of quantum entanglement are the same thing, best exemplified by (and culminating in) a powerful connection between Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance, which represents metaphorical and physical entanglement.

Come with me on this journey of crazy.

Continue reading We Serve the Mystery: the Vortessence, Quantum Entanglement, and Personal Connection in Half-Life 2

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Video Games Are Inspirational

For anyone who hasn’t seen this yet, I found it on Cheezburger a while back, and just now re-discovered it. Though it’s not quite brand new, I feel it definitely deserves a place on this blog.

Video Games are Inspirational

As for me, I feel the need to add my own contribution: