I just played through “Portal” for the second time, which is something I almost never do these days (life is short, and there’s just not enough time for reruns). What got me to go back was the commentary tracks, which are activated by little speech bubble objects sprinkled throughout the levels; if you “use” one of these objects, you get a few remarks about teaching the player new mechanics or directing the voice actor. It’s a neat way of allowing the player to listen to the commentary at his or her own pace and with minimal disruption of the gameplay itself.

In other news, I’ve spent the last couple of months adding tags to all the entries on this blog. I don’t know how useful the tags themselves are to anyone but me — I mean, who’s actually interested in spending any time browsing the archives of this blog? — but the exercise was a good excuse to go back and read through the past four and a half years of entries. Besides thinking wistfully about all the free time I had back in the good old days of self/un-employment, I also get to pat myself on the back for doing things like, say, calling for developer commentary tracks on games three years ago.

I mean, sure, it’s a completely obvious idea that was just waiting for someone to actually take the time to do it, but I prefer to think that I’m prescient and totally on the edge of future trends. Maybe sticker collecting really is ripe for a comeback!