Valve first revealed the Portal 2 Music Video Contest in June, and after a pretty lengthy delay, they have finally announced the winners!
Theoretically, everyone who entered the contest was a winner. Producing such great videos (over 320 of them, in fact) is no easy task, but with all the amazing entries we’ve seen, these guys make it look like a cakewalk.
Normally, when the people holding a contest tell you picking a winner was really difficult, they’re lying. We point that out only because, in this case, picking a winner was actually, honest-to-God really difficult.
To better understand their point, think of choosing a winner for this contest as hard as releasing the next Half-Life.
We started with 320 videos. Seven days later, we’d narrowed it to three. Five days after that, we were down to two and feeling pretty good about ourselves. And that’s when we hit a wall. Weeks passed, friendships ended, people were fired, and we were still no closer to choosing a winner.
We were stuck between two very different videos. One was a terrific retelling of the Ratman story. The other had nothing to do with Portal, Valve, The National, being exiled OR being vilified, but managed to beautifully capture the spirit of the song by starring the world’s saddest sock puppet. Unfortunately, according to our own stupid contest rules and the number of guitars we have for prizes (one), only one video could win.
It’s like a paradox! Except with guitars instead of… cats, missions and sentences.
After a few more weeks of fruitless debate, we realized there was a group who could help us crack this seemingly intractable stalemate: The United Nations.
Between this and this, the United Nations might have their hands full at the moment.
When that didn’t pan out, we turned to another group: The guys who’d made the song, The National. They managed to pick a slim favorite, but weren’t comfortable leaving the #2 video in the dust.
So after a few more days of hard words and hurt feelings, we finally decided to award a first place winner followed by a mathematically imperceptibly close 1.00000000001th place winner. Both will receive the same great prize package, the only difference being that place #1 will include a guitar and place #1.00000000001 will feature an Aperture Science messenger bag signed by the Portal 2 Team.
Guitars are cool… but come on, what could be cooler than an Aperture messenger bag? Just think about all the science you could do carrying that thing around! Renowned scientists will instantly recognize the bag, and they’ll know you’re also a great and respected science… man!
So, what is the long-awaited first place winner?
You know, I really like it! Sure, it has nothing to do with Portal, or Valve, but it does capture the feel and atmosphere of the song very well. The relationship between the silent man and his sock-puppet also heavily resembles the relationship between Chell (silent) and her Companion Cube (inanimate, yet adorable object that possesses perceived human traits), and the locations are excellent! It does stretch on, and in some parts it seems like absolutely nothing is happening, but I really like it.
What about 1.00000000001th place, you ask? What makes this video so good, that it could stand up to the lone sock puppet? Let’s see!
Well, now we know! A brilliant depiction of the events that have taken place in the Portal series, with a really great art style! I don’t know which one I’d pick – sock puppet video or Rattmann video. It’s tough, because the videos are so different. I might go for this one – it’s more interesting, and there’s a lot going on. No wasted frames.
And here is second place:
Very well done also! I like the production values, and the locations. Much like the sock puppet video, it did feel as if nothing was going on in some parts, but it was really good.