Portal 2: Rated E for Everybody… Except for Orphans [Video]

There’s a bit of controversy going on right now because Portal 2, which bills itself as “educational” and is rated “E” for everybody, has put a father at a loss for words while playing the game with his adopted daughter. Check it out:

What do you guys think? Is the guy taking things too far or is his anger justified? Let us know in the comments section below!

[Via [H]]





76 Responses to Portal 2: Rated E for Everybody… Except for Orphans [Video]

  1.  The Orphan comment is even turned back on Wheatley, where they start defending orphans….They took a very specific part of the game out of context, and made it appear much worse than it actually is. And they had Wheatley say it primarily because he is meant to be shown as stupid. By using something not funny at all as an insult, and have it turned around on him. I know it can be a touchy subject but….nonetheless people. Sit back a bit and try not to get so heated over something that you didn't even flesh out. One character in the game attacks orphans, yet is the villain. IE: projected for it to be 'bad' to make fun of oprhans….I guess they could not connect one and two.

    •  It wouldn't even matter if the GLaDOS didn't defend Chell. It was the motive of the character in the game to call Chell and orphan and a fatty as an attempt to provoke the protagonist Chell.

      If the same thing were done under the context of a book no one would
      have an issue. This is the worst journalism I have ever seen.

    •  Good job Portal, you saved me the trouble.

      I am not an adoptive father, but I soon will be.  The dude is overreacting.  As do most people that are easily offended. 

      • Speaking as someone who is adopted I find his reaction silly (there's a lot more stuff I wouldn't put in front of a ten year old much earlier in the game, that is just a weird place to draw the line from my POV), but also feel he is doing the right thing in being there as she plays and cutting it off at something he feels is inappropriate for her… that is good involved parenting.   Parents though, and the media as well, need to get their heads out of their asses and remember that the ESRB ratings, and TV ratings for that matter,  are much coarser than the current MPAA film ratings system, which has itself undergone a number of changes since it's introduction in 1968 to reduce it's granularity,

        How this ever got on the news is a much bigger question in my mind than any other though.  Very slow news day I guess, but why these parents felt it a good idea to get the news involved I can never understand.

  2. Sounds more like a good parent's opportunity to discuss prejudice with their kid rather than try and disguise the world from them.

    Haven't had a change to play Portal2 yet, but looks like @a1bd7bdabcfcfae07f2401b596f497e7:disqus puts it in perspective.

  3. It is in bad taste…but I do tire of hearing parents say they do not know how to explain someone's ignorance or rudeness to their child. Parents, talk to your kids, explain what they come up against in life.  Equip them with knowledge and understanding.

  4.  I couldn't agree with these comments more.  The main villain of a game makes a low brow joke attempting to poke fun at something that is not funny and has it turned around on him almost immediately.

    This was a great way for a random person to get local news coverage by taking something mildly comical because of its irony and becoming overly offended by it but that's all.  The game insults all number of issues, including calling the main character fat in several variant ways.  Soon the obese children will need to be sheltered from a fast pace puzzle game that requires cognitive thought and features a good deal of humor.

    To be honest, it's just sad.  The girl will likely be tormented more intensely for this report then she ever would've for merely being adopted

  5. I can understand being mildly offended by the scene in Portal 2, but the game as a whole has an irreverent sense of humor and there's plenty to talk about with your children while playing.  As for the sensationalist tv clip, I would say that referring to Portal 2 as a "popular kids' video game" is a bet of a stretch, and I wouldn't say that the the game bills itself as "educational".  And as the father of an adopted daughter myself, it was not "literally the worst thing [I] could possibly have heard."  Not even on the list of 100 worst things. 

    I won't say the father doesn't have the right to be offended, and it looks like he couldn't have been that offended, as they apparently still like the game, but I guess it was a slow news day in Charlotte that day.

  6.  This just looks like some attention seeking parent trying to blame everything that’s wrong in this world onto videogames… Geez… “Oh noes, my daughter is adopted and they make fun of adopted kids.” And what about all the other times certain population groups were mocked in videogames?

    Also, like others said: pulled out of context…

  7.  This just looks like some attention seeking parent trying to blame everything that's wrong in this world onto videogames… Geez… "Oh noes, my daughter is adopted and they make fun of adopted kids." And what about all the other times certain population groups were mocked in videogames?

    Also, like others said: pulled out of context…

  8. Is it sad that it made me laugh out loud when they showed that part of the game?  Because this is just the most ridiculous attention getting stunt I have seen.  Way out of context.  I'm sure this child has seen way worse on TV, magazines, school, peers, daddy/mommy mouths…  So since they say "fatty fatty fatty" and I portray myself as fat, should I be offended?  Hm. food for though…mmmm foooooood

    • Exactly. I'm overweight and the fat jokes actually amuse me simply because they're being said (in a comical way) to someone who isn't fat

  9. Also, what did the parents tell the child when she obviously would have asked "Why are there cameras here or why is the news channel here?"

    Would love to hear what sly tongue danced around that question.

  10.  And yet the kid seems like she could care less and just keeps on playing the game… weird. It's almost like someone is blowing this completely out of proportion, just not the kid.

  11. As other people have stated, Wheatley is designed to be a complete moron of a character so making jokes like that should be expected. Plus seen as Portal is known for it's fairly dark sense of humour, it's not like this kind of ironic joke couldn't have been expected.
    Yeah, it insulted the character, and thus your 10 year old daughter, but you just face the issue by talking to her like a parent is supposed to rather than going to a news network and acting like Portal 2 has suddenly become on a par with Duke Nukem for it's insults to society…

  12.  I don't even know where to begin with all the things wrong in this video! This game is certainly not geared towards children, even if it is rated E for Everyone. Common sense should have prevailed there. Also, this father really needs to stop imagining that his daughter is an idiot. Many adopted people can understand the humor in their situation…as evidenced by my (adopted) fiancee laughing her ass off! It's namby pampy parents, like this guy, who ruin everything.

  13. The parents in this video could easily take this opportunity to talk with their daughter about how to gracefully rise against insults and bullying. They don't even necessarily have to use adoption, specifically, since they clearly view that as a sensitive topic that they want to discuss with her only after she indicates that she is ready. They could draw attention to the "fatty" comments (speaking of which, why isn't anyone outraged about those?), and teach her valuable lessons that she can later apply in other situations. Or, they could be shocked and appalled at the fact that the game employs sarcasm – something for which it is well-known. Do the research in advance, and make an educated decision about whether you should play it.

  14.  Yeah, and taking a kid who is terrified of clowns to the circus would also be a bad idea… If you kid has extinuating circumstances, of course you have to be more aware of content.  Duh. 

  15.  "Despite the fact that constant insults have been sent to the PC in a humorous way, and theorists that Chell is the daughter of Caroline and Cave use this as evidence, I AM OFFENDED"

  16. To be fair, after GLaDOS defends Chell, she makes sure to Chell her that being adopted makes her a terrible person, and it's understandable that the parent is upset that a game rated E would have this content. This situation seems more like a failure in the rating, not the game itself. The original Orange Box was M, and Portal 1 stand alone was T. E10 seems too low for Portal 2. There are many parts that a younger kid shouldn't be exposed to. When cave flips about lemons and GLaDOS pretty much orgasms, and all the constant fat insults. It's not Valve's fault or the Parents over reacting, it was mis-rated.

  17. I haven't had a chance to play Portal 2 yet, I am offended that this broadcast news clip spoiled  a key scene of the game for me. I was also offended in the original Portal that GLaDOS tried to bake me into a cake. I can never eat cake again.

  18. It's tupid people like this who make a great video game become black listed over stupid bs. Why can't americans pull there heads out of there asses and realize what humor is…??

  19.  Can people not see that this is… A VIDEO GAME!!! this sort of thing occurs on a day to day basis on much higher level but yet again, to the media, like all games nowadays its "evil" and "injust"

  20. I think that even at 10, I was clever enough to pick out who's supposed to be a jerk and a villain in video games, and well-adjusted enough to the fact that I was adopted to know better than to be offended at such a character poking fun at the circumstance. Of course she/I/we have parents; they're right there at home with us. Wheatley's just being a jerk, because that's what he does. Move along, nothing to see here.

    That "most ultimate question," since the father didn't say what it was in the clip, by the way, is "why did my birthparents give me up?". By 10, this question should either have already been addressed or have become irrelevant, because the child's adopted family cares for her as their own and doesn't make a big deal about not having a genetic relationship.

  21. You're right, this poor girl, no one would ever mock her for being adopted in the real world. Grow the fuck up. If anything your child should related even more with the character now. I am pretty sure the child could care less what the video game is saying to them because guess what? They get to fight that character and defeat it at the end of the game. So apparently Orphan children can destroy sentient machines. I think that should boost her self-esteem rather than hurt her feelings. 

    Then again, this is assuming her parents know how to raise a child properly and talk to her. Which obviously, it doesn't look like it if they think that one 30 second conversation is going to completely destroy her self-worth. And obviously turning off the game was a smart move, because you know, I love it when people turn off my game before I can save it. 

  22. But if they talk to her and explain what is going on then they can't force that irresponsible attitude of blaming others for teaching your child life lessons and are risking raising a proper functioning member of society. Duh. 

  23. Anyone else find it odd that the first thing he does after being upset by his daughter's reaction to the comments in the game the father's first instinct is to make a huge issue of the game and his daughter's adoption by contacting the local news station? In the process exposing hundreds if not thousands of other orphan's and adopting parents to the same clips he was so offended by.

    • And not only this, but exposing his own daughter to the quote she probably DID genuinely not hear the first tim;. I doubt she'd have the cogency to think "I heard it, but I'm not ready to talk about it, so I'll pretend I didn't hear it" that quickly, and to feign ignorance of the comment, too, without it being obvious. Not even because of her age; no-one's really that quick-witted and parents can spot something like that a mile off. Maybe he was worrying about his own skill as a parent more than her worries about being adopted.

  24.  New things to be banned next week: Annie, Cinderella, Oliver Twist, Jungle Book.  The U.S. is getting far too sensitive for its own good.  From banning gym/sports in school to crap like this.  

    •  The US? How much more ignorant can you get? You realize that Valve is an American company, right?

  25. Rule #1:People are stupid
    Rule #2:See rule #1

    Dear parent, your arm flailing and vehement indignation only serve to teach the child that it’s ok to whine when ever you find something offends you, rather than be a mature adult and deal with it.

    Remember, you’re suppose to teach a child how to be an adult, not how to remain as a child.

  26. Rule #1:People are stupid
    Rule #2:See rule #1

    Dear parent, your arm flailing and vehement indignation only serve to teach the child that it's ok to whine when ever you find something offends you, rather than be a mature adult and deal with it.

    Remember, you're suppose to teach a child how to be an adult, not how to remain as a child.

  27.  wow! this is about one of the stupidest things I've seen in a while.
    Clearly, it was a joke and how come they didn't play the next line spoken by glaDOS when she says:
    "what's so bad about being adopted?" 
    I think it's an outrage to get this upset over that comment.
    There could have been a lot worse things said then that.

  28.  I don't know the game, but personally, any child who is adopted is blessed, because their new, adoptive parents CHOSE to take them in, and love them… They took their human right of free will, and welcomed someone not related by blood into their home and family, to be accepted as one of them.  I think it's a beautiful choice for adoptive parents to make, and ANY downplay of that, no matter how innocent it was meant to be, should not be tolerated…

  29. This is insane.  Must be a slow news day.  This guy and his adopted kid need to not be news.  Period.

    IT IS A FRIGGEN VIDEO GAME.  

    I hate people.

  30. im sorry but this is horrfic, its no secret that it has become allmost populer to complain about the suitablilty of computer games, but it seems to me that this man himself allmost dusnt belive in his own complaint. the clip portayed in the film… you know im sorry but i just cant be botherd to rant at the moment, im off to make a sandwich

  31.  Andrew has a point. People would rather put their children through torture as babies (19 months old..8 months old so on) putting them in thousand dollar dresses and strutting them up and down an isle..for beauty pageants! Then let them play a game…that teaches them how to ignore bullying..I saw nothing wrong with it..and I still don't..Its a lesson she's probably self taught..and she probably wasn't lying when she said she didn't hear it. She's probably learned to ignore it if she goes to school unless they send her to a school that shelters her too..

  32.  "mis-rated"?  Do you rely on the ESRB for all of your ratings information?  Just because a game is rated one way doesn't mean you should blindly allow your kid to play it.  My parents rarely let me play video games (or watch pg-13 movies or read non-juvenile-fiction novels that weren't classics) without first experiencing the media for themselves.  If this father has concerns about how he raises his children (as is proper for a parent, so yay him!), he should have tested the material for himself before allowing his daughter to enjoy it with him.

    Whoa, soap box.  Rant over.

  33.  "mis-rated"?  Do you rely on the ESRB for all of your ratings information?  Just because a game is rated one way doesn't mean you should blindly allow your kid to play it.  My parents rarely let me play video games (or watch pg-13 movies or read non-juvenile-fiction novels that weren't classics) without first experiencing the media for themselves.  If this father has concerns about how he raises his children (as is proper for a parent, so yay him!), he should have tested the material for himself before allowing his daughter to enjoy it with him.

    Whoa, soap box.  Rant over.

    • Sadly, most parents still don't play video games and rely on these rating. I don't like the ratings system much, and luckily my parents didn't care about it. If i earned the money to buy a game and it was M, they would buy it (my local store was very strict on that age stuff). The news article brings up how the game is inappropriate for his young daughter and the game is E10, then try to pin the blame on first, sony(news, google who to call first about a game. you don't call your dvd player's company cause the movie you're watching upset you), then calls valve. I agree with you that parents should take the initiative to experience the game before their child plays it. The father should be upset. but the news report doesn't point out that the ESRB rates the game for what age is appropriate, and they said 10 years olds can play it. Valve, Sony, Microsoft, or Apple didn't decide that.

  34. What is actually quite amusing about this clip is that it is NOT the first time adoption is brought up in the game! GLaDOS makes some much more offensive orphan jokes much earlier in the game which the kid probably laughed at and carried on regardless to have reached the point where Wheatley make this one. The point of this joke is that he is trying (badly) to mimic GLaDOS and having it thrown back into his face.

  35. Was I the only one that heard the Orphan comment in Portal 1? Final battle with GLaDOS, just before you kill her, she tries to insult Chell by saying that she is 'adopted and not very well liked – it says so right here in your file'
    Where was the controversy for that?

    It's the evil character in the game. Are they supposed to be supportive and friendly? It was meant as a rather weak insult, one where you go 'Really? That's the best you could come up with?'

  36.  He didn't hear it because he had a knee-jerk reaction and turned the game off before he had a chance to see the conclusion to the scene and then the news clearly didn't research this at all, because they were trying to blame Sony. Both parties are idiots.

  37. this is probably just greed at its finest. he's announcing that he's offended probably gonna get a lawyer and sue. yet another frivolous lawsuit. rather like the McDonald's coffee lady. i pity the judge that gets this case

  38. It bugs me that everyone these days has to have a news segment to tell everyone how outraged they are.

  39. I'm sure some people are thinner skinned than others and it would be something to frown upon as an adoptive parent but I agree with a few others that Wheatley was a BAD character and his insults were meant to have you hate him more. 

    Maybe they went too far especially with the Rated E but I wouldn't start pulling it off of shelves b/c someone is more sensitive than others.  The needs/wants of the many and all.  Moot point I think, game is already out and that's that.

  40. I am a regular in the video game world and it saddens me when a game gets criticized by a pardon me IGNORANT person such as this father. Not only has he not had a talk with his child about how several people will poke fun at people for being adopted he also didn't take the time to listen to the dialogue of the scene. Wheatley says "fatty fatty no parents" which is meant to be taken as an insult but it immediately rebuttled by glados saying "so what's wrong with having no parents". Come on, these characters are meant to be mean and quirky. They in the context push chell to be the protagonist she is. Grow that half a brain your missing sir and use it.

  41. They also called the character a "fatty." Let's get all pissed about that, too. Get a life, dude.

  42. This is ridiculous. It's a game. A game where they insult a character to provoke her. I showed this video to friends who are adopted and their parents and they have the same opinions as myself; these parents are completely over-reacting. If it bothers the kid sit down and talk about it with her, don't try to shield her from it. She's going to experience bullying, maybe hearing it in a game and telling her it's not meant seriously can teach her to laugh at it or just brush off what she may experience later in life. She's 10, she's not a fragile as you think and she's probably a lot smarter than you think.

  43. Well I have to make a statement here I am over 100lbs overweight. Yet I am not offended when I am called fat or trash by GlaDos. Whom even asks Wheatly later on in the game whats wrong with being adopted? anyone who knows what this game is about should know that it is not for the faint of heart. This game is not even an educational platform its content is fantasy, violence, and mild language and its rated E 10+ not for small children. Emotional maturity of the child should be determined before any parent should let their child play any kind of games with content labels such as violence, language, or mild suggestive
    there is a reason why the ESRB puts lables on packages maybe parents should read them before they complain

  44. Why, exactly, should our villains be required to be politically correct? It's perfectly alright for them to try and kill you, but a little name-calling is beyond the pale? Gimme a break. Kudos to the dad for being involved with his kid's leisure activities, but they're called bad guys for a reason. Let them be evil! 

  45. Why, exactly, should our villains be required to be politically correct? It’s perfectly alright for them to try and kill you, but a little name-calling is beyond the pale? Gimme a break. Kudos to the dad for being involved with his kid’s leisure activities, but they’re called bad guys for a reason. Let them be evil! 

  46. Shouldn't the game legally stay E, despite one parent complaining? Aside from that, the one who used to be the antagonist is now defending you, and the very same comment turns the robot (who was built to make bad decisions) around for the moment. If parents are really upset about the "adopted" part, they really should not have bought the game, or the first one, for that matter. They don't poke fun at adopted people, either, they poke fun at Wheatley for being an idiot.

  47. What about the comments on Chell's weight? Wouldn't that be hard for someone recovering from an eating disorder? I haven't heard of any people with eating disorders protesting the game. I personally think that the comments about her being an orphan, being fat, and being a bad person were meant to be offensive as a type of mental attack on Chell…playing on her weaknesses.