The silent protagonist of Sierra's 1998 first-person shooter, Half-Life.

Prior to accepting a job offer at the Black Mesa Research Facility, Dr. Gordon Freeman, 27, was working for the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck in Innsbruck, Austria. A former professor of Dr. Freeman's at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (where Freeman obtained his PhD in theoretical physics), Dr. Kleiner, originally recommended him to Black Mesa's Civilian Recruitment Division. Dr. Freeman received a letter dated "May 5, 200-" at his office at the University of Innsbruck confirming a telephone conversation in which he was offered and accepted a job at the Black Mesa Research Facility "commencing immediately but no later than May 15." The letter states that, as previously discussed (assumingly via the afore mentioned telephone conversation), Dr. Freeman will begin at Level 3 Research Associate status with an assignment to the Anomalous Materials Laboratory. Dr. Freeman is given until 15 May to begin work at the Black Mesa Research Facility since there may have been some affairs that he needed to attend to still in Innsbruck prior to returning to the United States.

Dr. Freeman is unmarried and "without dependents." A retinal scan was not made necessary at the time of Dr. Freeman's employment, though urine and blood was for medical records. In Dr. Freeman's locker at the Black Mesa Research Facility one can find the books The Orchid Eater and The 37th Mandala by Marc Laidlaw, who wrote the storyline for Half-Life (there is also a locker marked "Laidlaw" across the room). While working at the Black Mesa Research Facility, Dr. Freeman was involved in the analysis of an anomalous material that resulted in a massive internal systems breakdown and the ability for an alien race to transport themselves to the facility, where they began to attack. Dr. Freeman survived the intial systems failure, which resulted in a lot of explosions and electrical discharges throughout the Black Mesa compound's Sector C Test Labs and Control Facilities, thanks to the HEV hazardous environment suit he was wearing at the time. Freeman's initial goal was to make it to the surface (the Black Mesa compound is located largely underground in New Mexico) and inform rescue teams of the locations of the scientists and security officers still trapped in Sector C. Upon nearing the surface, however, Dr. Freeman discovered that the military had been dispatched to eliminate all hostile alien invaders, as well as any humans associated with the project.

Facing both hostile aliens and human troops, Dr. Freeman worked his way through the Black Mesa Research Facility to launch a satellite needed by a group of scientists he eventually met up with to aid in closing the dimensional breach that was allowing the alien species to invade. Closing this breach eventually led to Dr. Freeman transporting himself to the alien dimension, Xen, and defeating several key creatures and their ability to reach Earth.

Information in this write-up obtained from Half-Life and its manual.

Why does Gordon never talk? Because Gabe Newell is a brilliant game designer.

Newell's reasoning, in his own words:

"The character of Gordon Freeman was left as transparent as possible to the player. There's no voiceover, no third-person camera or mirrors. We tried never to pull the player out of the experience through cut-scenes, voiceovers, even Easter eggs or other obviously authorial devices. We made the other characters in the game sympathetic and helpful, and then we did horrible things to them to try to get the player to feel both the loss and the sense that the world was actually dangerous. We left a lot of ambiguity in the story to allow the player to write the story however he wanted to, from what he was experiencing."

(quote from the book Game Design: Secrets of the Sages)

In contrast, I recently played a similar game called Red Faction. While the game starts off using techniques similar to Half-Life, they simply cannot resist the temptation to use cutscenes and suddenly my character "Parker" isn't me any more, he's this wiseass with a gun who wants to kill everybody. It threw me completely out of the game.

Gabe has apparently read chapter two of Understanding Comics, or at least came to the same conclusions independently of Scott McCloud.

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