The Portal Exhibit

Portal is available through Steam for Macs and PCs for $9.99. You simply download Steam onto your computer and purchase Portal from within it. If you have Portal already for your computer or console, then there’s no need to get it through Steam. Portal is also available as part of “The Orange Box” for the Xbox360 and PS3 consoles, although it costs more this way.

We’ll be creating our Portal Exhibit using Omeka, an open-source, museum-strength digital archive and collection builder [Log in].

Each student will contribute at least 5 artifacts to the Portal Exhibit. Some of these items may include actual digital material (images, audio, documents) that you upload to the collection, while other items may consist of simply a description of the artifact, with the metadata included. Only 1 of the 5 artifacts that each student contributes may be a screen shot of Portal. Also, avoid adding duplicate items.


We have five tentative exhibits as part of the larger Portal Exhibit:

  1. Why Portal?
  2. Development of Portal
  3. The Narrative of Portal
  4. The Marketing and Game Industry Context
  5. Popular Response to Portal

By default, every student will contribute to two of these exhibits. For each of these two exhibits, you will contribute at least 100 words. These 100 words can be distinct from anybody else’s contribution (but make sure they don’t duplicate anybody else’s work) or you can team up with somebody to create a longer piece of text. In lieu of contributing to two exhibits, you may opt to contribute doubly to a single exhibit.

Remember that the purpose of an exhibit is to DIE:

  • Describe the items in the exhibit
  • Interpret their meaning and their place in the exhibit
  • Evaluate their importance and explain why this exhibit matters


  1. Provide a concise summary of the individual items you have contributed to the Portal Exhibit.
  2. Describe your contributions to the one or two exhibits you helped build.
  3. Rate the quantity of your contributions to the overall Portal Exhibit on a scale of 0-4.
  4. Rate the quality of your contributions to the overall Portal Exhibit on a scale of 0-4.
  5. In a separate essay, write a 500-word reflection about the Portal Exhibit and what it does and does not tell us about the game Portal and its cultural significance. Also consider the exhibit’s strongest points and its weakest points. Finally, spend a few sentences reflecting on the process of creating the exhibit.

Due Tuesday, May 10, via Blackboard. Please include all of the pieces of the reflection (items 1-5 above) in a single document that you upload to Blackboard.

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