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Portal 2 Release Disrupts Educational System

Valve Software's eagerly-awaited sequel to Portal launched today after nearly a four-year wait, landing on Windows PC, Mac, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 consoles. The game combines the first-person shooter viewpoint of other popular Valve games, a large dose of humor, and a unique portal-based puzzle element into an award-winning combination that earned Portal the coveted Game of the Year award at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards, among others.

That said, it's no surprise that the Internet has seemingly come to a halt as fans currently flock to stores and online digital distributors (like Steam) to get their copy of Portal 2. Even teachers are canceling classes because students are calling in sick to play the just-release sequel.

"I have already have had several students email me today and ask for tomorrow's lecture notes because they will be too sick to attend class," one teacher wrote to students via email on Monday. "Due to the high number of students that are feigning illness to play Portal [2], there will be no class tomorrow, April 19."

For the record, all articles published today on Tom's was actually written on Sunday and Monday, as we’ve closed the office to spend all Tuesday playing Portal 2 (or for me, the Gears of War 3 beta). If you have yet to purchase a copy, get out from under that rock and head over to Steam. Those who purchase the $59.99 PlayStation 3 version seemingly get the best deal out of all four platforms, receiving the PC and Mac digital versions for free.

For the uninitiated, here's a brief overview ripped from the product details:

"The single-player portion of Portal 2 introduces a cast of dynamic new characters, a host of fresh puzzle elements, and a much larger set of devious test chambers. Players will explore never-before-seen areas of the Aperture Science Labs and be reunited with GLaDOS, the occasionally murderous computer companion who guided them through the original game. The game's two-player cooperative mode features its own entirely separate campaign with a unique story, test chambers, and two new player characters. This new mode forces players to reconsider everything they thought they knew about portals. Success will require them to not just act cooperatively, but to think cooperatively."