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molokaicreeper Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:50pm
Question about the high pitched frequency in GlaDOS voice, serious answers please...
I'd like to know if anyone knows at what frequency does GlaDOS speaks/sings. It is a long story. I have a 7 year old son whose dad introduced to Portal perhaps about 2 years ago. Despite all the times I cursed his dad out about showing him a game that might not be appropriate for a (then 5 year old), he insisted that the game was "safe" and there was "no blood or violence" yada-yada. Lies... but anyway.

My 7 year old son is autistic and became quite obsessed with Portal. Mind you, this child still is not able to read fluently on his own and still uses diapers. He is verbal, although has problems communicating his feelings.

My son has defeated GlaDOS (beat the game) in several ocassions (in the past 2-3 weeks) but the last time he did it, he was entranced by GlaDOS song and started to cry. It scared me because he said the song was too sad, and for the first time he "reggretted hurting" GlaDOS. I am well aware that high pitched frequencies have the tendency to hurt children's ears but I had no idea that GlaDOS could fall under the category.

The other times he passed the game he was on a laptop and the volume is not loud at all, but this time he used the desktop computer, that has a bigger speaker. I'd like to know if this can be ruled as just the results of the high pitch generated by the desktop speakers, or is there something else I should be worried about?

His therapists/tutors know about his obsession with Portal and Portal 2, but unless you've actually played them, there is no way they will be able to understand. (None of them ever even heard about it)!

I am aware that the USRB rating for Portal is "TEEN", but unfortunately this child will do very scary things when we remove Portal (or Portal 2 which he's been into since May 2013). Portal 2 USRB rating is 10+ though.

A few interesting pages about how high pitch frequencies can affect different age groups and how:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMu6nPeIDOY
http://www.who.int/ceh/capacity/noise.pdf
http://labor.alaska.gov/lss/pads/noise.htm
http://www.in5d.com/high-pitched-frequencies.html

For now I have told him not to repeat the GlaDOS beating sequence until I can figure this out. This is beginning to sound like the hype people made about the "Lavender Town" music in Pokemon and how "it made a bunch of kids commit suicide". A lot of people say it was just hoopla, but my son is affected by high frequencies to the point of crying really hard. He will not do anything to hurt himself, since he's never left alone (due to his condition), but maybe children should be suppervised when playing games like this.
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molokaicreeper Dec 15, 2013 @ 12:10am 
That is surprisingly helpful, thanks! I will let his therapist know, apart from the fact that those frequencies are a bit too high for little kids, it might affect him differently because of his condition. Either way I don't have anything against Portal, I've played it myself on ocassion and I think it's an amazing game; but perhaps he's younger than most of the Portal audience. I am proud of my little dude for completing it, I saw the things he did to kill GlaDOS and it looks very difficult.
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Date Posted: Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:50pm
Posts: 1