Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mystery Game Kicks Off E-Week

Lab coats, portals and mysterious cubes started appearing on the UC San Diego campus last night, Tuesday, Feb. 21. In case you were wondering, they were all part of Aperture Labs, the event that kicked off E-Week at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

The Triton Engineering Student Council (TESC) started off its slew of big events in celebration of the National Engineers Week by showing off the mysterious Aperture Labs. Most volunteers were as unsure of what was to happen as the participants. As Justin Huang, president of TESC, noted, “All they know is that they’re here as test subjects!”

The event was inspired by Portal, an acclaimed video game, which probably was the only thing engineering students from diverse backgrounds had in common as they filled up the conference room in the Computer Science and Engineering Building. Luis Meraz, a TESC board member who was in charge of the event, worked hard with his team of volunteers to make sure the event was as close to the real game as possible. To ensure this, the volunteers wore lab coats and were identified as Aperture Lab Scientists and students were given orange vests for ‘protection.’ The students, in teams of four, were required to complete a scavenger hunt using portals; create a potato battery; and answer an engineering quiz. The team that completed all the parts in the least amount of time won. Each team was also provided with a ‘cube’, with all the materials needed to complete the course. 
As Meraz explained to the participants, “The cube is your best friend”.

Participants had a great time in this event, and some good exercise too, due to portals being placed at distant locations around the campus. The good news: Valve Corporation, developer of Portal and a sponsor for the event, made sure participants could look forward to shirts, posters, stickers, jackets and cake at the end of the game. 

See more Aperture Labs pictures here.
Story by Abhinav Jha

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