G is for GLaDOS

GDavid and I have both loved the Portal games and one of the greatest characters in both games is GLaDOS. She is the evil super computer that just wants to keep running tests and doing science because that is what she is meant to do. In Portal 2 you are introduced to the co-op mode where you are playing two robots going through the test. The robots were created by GLaDOS so she could test without humans around. The interesting thing about this character is her single minded purpose, as well as her insults, and uncaring whether you actually survive. She honestly makes for such a great part of playing the game.

Singular Purpose

GLaDOS’ singular purpose is to study science and experiment, no matter what it takes. In some ways because she is a robot she does not care what happens to the subjects as long as it gives her more points of data to study. At the same time what is great about GLaDOS is that she has a very human quality in her actions. She will lie, make jokes, and while it is all very callous there is a very human nature to it. This become interesting when tied with her pursuing the very singular purpose of science.

Spoilers for Portal 2

So playing the story part of Portal 2 is so great because you learn more about Aperture Science labs. One of the things that we find out about is where GLaDOS came from. The creature of Aperture science is voiced by the fantastic J.K. Simmons and he discovered a way to transfer a human consciousness to the computer system, but died before his consciousness could be transferred. So instead we get his wife’s consciousness getting transferred into the computer and becoming GLaDOS. It was kind of a great back story that they introduced during Portal 2 to that just added depth to GLaDOS’ character.

5 responses to “G is for GLaDOS

  1. Ah, GLADOS.

    You guys might enjoy this video. GLADOS is awakened at NASA, and gets to illuminate the differences between fusion and fission.


  2. I’m not familiar with these games, but based on your description, I love GLaDOS!

    -L.G. Keltner, minion in Captain Alex’s Ninja Army


  3. Pretty sure it’s also the GLaDOS voice in Pacific Rim, so hey, she’s helping there!…


  4. Pingback: Icons of Science Fiction at the EMP Museum | Comparative Geeks

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