It’s one of my favorite items on sale right now, but I suppose if you’re not into video games, the reference might be completely lost on a person! I know that for myself – if M wasn’t such a huge gamer I’m sure I would have no clue what a “companion cube” is, and why would I care? But as I am continually exposed to new (and old) games on a whole slew of different game consoles (xbox, ps2, ps3, dreamcast, NES, DSi, PSP…), I know more about video games and the gaming industry than I would every have thought possible.
But anyways, the companion cube…
In October 2007, a game called Portal was released for the Xbox, and of course M had his hands on it the day it came out. Normally I have a very passing interest in the games he plays, but Portal was different, because it was a puzzle game, and it had the most amazing (and captivating) physics engine I had ever seen. The game also had a vague but intriguing plot, and a laugh-out-loud yet subtle humor. I don’t play video games myself, but I could watch M play this game all day.
In many of the puzzles you need to use a weighted box to help you solve the level. Most of these “weighted companion cubes” are not special and don’t have the silly pink hearts on them, but in one level, you need to use ONE companion cube throughout the entire level, and this one does have the hearts and as funny as it sounds, you get kind of attached to the inanimate object.
And then at the end of the level you’re told you must incinerate your friend, the companion cube! The game is so well made and effectively executed that you actually feel bad for tossing this block into a hole full of fire.
So I’ve added my own homage to the companion cube in my shop. This one’s already been through a kiln of immense heat, and come out fine and dandy on the other side ^_^
Making it a coin bank gives it added functionality, instead of just being a charming art-object. The first model I made was for M, and now it lives on his desk at work.
The game sequel, Portal 2, is set to release in spring 2011 – and as uncharacteristic as it is for me, I can’t wait!