Working at the hospital just makes me want to replay Portal, back when all I knew about it was that it was a really good puzzle-shooter game that came with a bunch of other games in the ‘Orange Box.’
Like the hospital, on the surface, where the patients are, is all very sterile, very neat… for obvious reasons. White walls, soft pastel floors and pictures of nature, cork-boards with colorful slogans on them, crisp lines of monitoring equipment and people in clean colored uniforms. But if you know where to go, if you have to go (for whatever reason), into the bowels of the hospital where only the employees venture, you end up in these hallways, with flickering yellow lights and the musty smell of dead cockroaches and that wall grime of places that aren’t religiously cleaned because they don’t have to be, a world that starts with storage rooms that make you feel dirty and ends in rooms full of mysterious pipes that you only ever see through an open door that says “AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY” and means it.
It’s like reliving Aperture Science, but oh man totally irl, and you get that it is like that in real life. You can see where the inspiration came from. That Aperture Science is so many places you’ve been to and seen, and that sort of feeling I got from playing Portal won’t ever really go away, and I don’t know that’s just really pleasing to me, and a significant part of me just wants to go roaming in the hospital, basking in that crazy contrast between the two faces of that wonderful building, those layers of organization that are so different but part of a totally coherent whole.