Dark humor runs through Portal 2, the massively successful 2011 offering from Valve Software. The game's antagonist, GLaDOS (short for Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), goads the player, pushing and prodding him or her along with an ever-present narcissistic, sarcastic, sinister wit voiced by Ellen McLain reading a script written by the legendary Erik Wolpaw. Wheatley, the enthusiastic sidekick in single-player mode, offers a light-hearted alternative to GlaDOS's dour musings. The pair combine to create a game that is exceptionally funny at times.
Portal 2, however, is not a comedy. The plot is dark and melodramatic, occasionally interspersed with moments of levity. But the video game, [...]