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Thread: BioShock

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    BioShock

    Probably one of my top 3 favorite games ever, ever....huge fan to the point of collecting every action figure, having one of the 2K bottles from the Something In The Sea campaign for BS2, having an official crow splicer mask...

    This Saturday night on Spike they're FINALLY going to show a new trailer for BioShock Infinite, which is easily my most anticipated game right now.


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    I never finished that game as i was still pretty into DOD:S at the time but now that i have no internets and lots of free time coming up when school is out I've been thinking about getting back into it. I really enjoyed it but at the time I was getting pretty burnt out on fps games. I have a better GFX card now too so i should be able to crank up the affects a bit more as well.

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    You know, I never got around to that rad Bioshock 2 DLC everyone was talking about... some one stol my copy.
    Infinite looks Insane... really once you get past the awesome visuals and newly adapted aesthetic, you realize that the gameplay is on a scale that's never really been done before, with the rails and blimps and mobs, it looks nuts. and I'm really digging the implications behind that chicks world warming powers

    My Thesis was on Bioshock... should I share it?

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    Uhh....yes.

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    It's very lengthy. So I removed citations.... also, double post coming up:
    Ayn Rand and the Bioshock Franchise: A Dialogue
    By Fred Nelson

    Ayn Rand is a controversial figure in both literature and politics. Her philosophy, Objectivism, holds that “knowledge and values are objective, not intrinsic or subjective,” (Kelley, 2000) which means that all beliefs proposed by her and subscribed to by her followers are nearly impossible to debate. This, combined with her strong stance against environmentalism, “The danger to mankind is environmentalism” (Berliner, 1995). Being a philosopher, she was a staunch supporter of individualism or as she put it “selfishness” which, by her account was a term deliberately used to upset people. (Rand & Branden, 1964)
    Rand chose to espouse her philosophy most often through writing, both non-fiction and fiction. In the latter, Rand carefully used characters and circumstance as metaphors, examples and representatives of her philosophy. As can be seen in her notes for The Fountainhead (Signet, 2008), Rand clearly identifies characters as “a man who is as he should be” or “a man who will never be.” (Rand, 2008 p. 696) She called this style Romanticism, “It does not record or photograph; it creates and projects. It is concerned—in the words of Aristotle—not with things as they are, but with things as they might be and ought to be.” (Rand, 2008 p. V)
    Regardless of how one views her philosophy, she was, at the very least, an effective communicator and a confident idealist. “If anyone can pick a rational flaw in my philosophy,” she challenged, “ I will be delighted to acknowledge him and I will learn something from him.” She also claimed that she was “the most creative thinker alive.” (Burns, 2008 p. 2) Decades have passed since Ayn Rand’s death (Burns, 2008 p. 1) and we are left to question who she would consider a suitable opponent.
    One possible candidate seems to have emerged in a somewhat improbable field, that of gaming. It is difficult to imagine Ayn Rand sitting on the couch engaged in a modern video game, but one must wonder what Rand would have thought of Bioshock. Bioshock comes across as a direct challenge to Rand and her objectivist philosophy. In the game Bioshock, players travel to an underwater city known as Rapture. Rapture is a city, according to creator Ken Levine, built by someone who is “one of Rand’s characters if he were put in the real world.” (Kotaku, 2008) That someone’s name is Andrew Ryan, whose name is an anagram of Ayn Rand. “In what country is there a place for people like me?” asks Ryan on a plaque found, presented in gold against a giant sculpture of Ryan. Rapture, apparently, “a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality…” (Irrational Games, 2007) According to Ken Levine, “Rand’s characters are super heroes, great people without flaws.” (Kotaku, 2008) If Andrew Ryan is a caricature of Rand’s characters, and Rand’s characters are intended as embodiments of her philosophy, then perhaps Rapture is a caricature of Rand’s philosophy as a whole. This allegory type approach seems to fit with her processing of Romanticism, allowing Levine to tackle Rand on her own territory.
    Rapture is clearly named for an event in the bible in which Christians are gathered to meet Christ. (1 The 4:17 New International Version) Since in this case, Objectivists are gathered to meet Andrew Ryan, this may reference the cult like nature of Rand’s philosophy and followers. Rand was a strict Atheist, “Faith… is extremely detrimental to human life,” but it could be suggested that she saw philosophy as a sort of worthy religion, “religion is an early form of philosophy.” (Rand, 1995) Readers, followers, and avid fans of her work have formed multiple organizations and institutes dedicated to the practice of her philosophy, such as the Ayn Rand Institute. Many libertarians seem to view her as some sort of prophet for that movement, “My very first exposure to Libertarianism was through Ayn Rand” claims one such individual. (Hornberger 2005) Pop culture has even developed a term for such followers: Randroids. (Johnson, 2010) Rand rejected this notion, “…the “libertarian” hippies, who subordinate reason to whim, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.” (Rand, 1995)
    As the player descends into the depths of Rapture, he or she is introduced to Levine’s concept of Rand’s vision applied to real world politics: a dilapidated, blood soaked dungeon swarming with violent drug addicts and ruled by ego maniacs. Each of the individual areas in Rapture represents some sort of industry. Early on the player visits a hospital, a theater, a farm and eventually research and housing. Using this approach, Levine is able to address Rand’s philosophy on an industry basis.
    By her own account, Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, is distinctly egocentric. In her novel, The Fountainhead Rand’s ideal man is Howard Roark, (Rand, 2008 p. 696) an architect with uncompromising vision. He wants the buildings he designs to be built exactly the way he designed them, without compromise and especially without the intrusion of the style or vision of another. He refuses to bow to the standards or expectations of others. He goes as far as to pay for the majority of a bill for his design simply so that it can meet his own standards.
    Another character in the novel is Peter Keating. Keating is a successful and esteemed architect who does absolutely everything he is expected to do. He adheres to the strictest guidelines of architectural aesthetic, and has no ideas of his own. He earns a great deal of admiration from the public because of this. Rand’s narrative refers to him as “an empty bitter wreck” (Rand, 2008 p. 696) painting acts of selflessness as low in nature.
    Early on, Bioshock attempts to apply this attitude towards healthcare. As the player enters Rapture’s medical wing, a phrase is scrawled on the wall in blood “Aesthetics are a moral imperative.” (Irrational Games, 2007) We soon learn through a series of audio recordings, and other such wall writings that most of Rapture’s medical industry has been devoted to plastic surgery. Medical advancements have progressed so far that health concerns are rarely an issue, and the abuse of certain popular drugs have left many hideously deformed, spiking the popularity of ballroom masques in fashion. Observing the propaganda littered throughout Rapture, its denizens see no excuse not to “upgrade” their appearance.

    In the medical pavilion, the player meets Dr. Steinman, the head doctor. Over the course of his stay in Rapture Steinman’s view of his work has changed from that of a service professional to that of an artist. The player sees the results rather vividly: horrid mutilation and deformity.
    “When Picasso became bored of painting people, he started representing them as cubes and other abstract forms. The world called him a genius! I've spent my entire surgical career creating the same tired shapes over and over again… wouldn't it be wonderful if I could do with a knife what that old Spaniard did with a brush?” (Irrational Games, 2008)

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    I'll read it when I get home from work in a few hours...stoked!

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    With this in mind, it seems as though Bioshock is not being true to Rand’s philosophy, which proposes “rational selfishness.” (Rand & Branden, 1964 p. 1) However, Ken Levine is hardly out to completely assault Rand’s ideas, “I find a positive in [objectivism].” (Kotaku, 2008) Indeed, Bioshock represents many of the ideas within Objectivism that could be deemed positive. Both Bioshock and Objectivism find value in individuality and creativity. The gameplay in Bioshock centers around the players decisions about how they want to play the game. The player chooses which sorts of abilities he or she wants to use. Therefore the players approach or solution to a given problem or situation is there own individual creation or idea. Each player has there own way of going through the game.
    Bioshock 2, though lacking the participation of Ken Levine, refers to Objectivism. In the sequel, Andrew Ryan, the founder of Rapture, has been dead for over a decade. In his stead, a psychologist named Sophia Lamb, has taken it upon herself to become the new leader of Rapture. Lamb’s political view is a polar opposite of Ryan’s, and therefore Rand’s, “She is a very different thinker, Based on John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx,” says game developer Jordan Thomas. (Williams, 2010)
    In Rand’s Anthem society has been reduced to a dystopian world where people have no sense of self, no name, and the government has erased the concept and the word, ”I.” (Rand, 1996) Lamb’s Rapture is not much different from this world. She literally tries to fuse the consciousness and being of each person in Rapture into one individual through some sort of science fiction process. Therefore the key stakes in the conflict are the protagonist’s individuality and self.
    Still, like original, the game offers a sense of balance. In this case that balance comes from a key father-daughter relationship. In the game, the player plays what is known in Rapture as a “Big Daddy.” Big Daddy’s are protectors of an important element in Rapture, Little Sisters. The Little Sisters are little girls that act as gatherers of an important energy source and material in Rapture, known as Adam. Adam, like its biblical counterpart, is the basis for civilization in Rapture. Every technological advancement and science fiction invention in the Bioshock world comes from it, including the aforementioned medical advancements. It is also highly addictive and an important, coveted resource. Everyone in Rapture has a desperate craving to for Adam, especially the aforementioned violent addicts. To protect these little girls, the scientists at Rapture created the Big Daddies. Bioshock 2 works hard to foster the relationship between the players and the little sisters. The player must guide them along and protect them as they collect Adam throughout Rapture. A lot of time and energy is put into making sure they are all right.
    Ayn Rand chose deliberately to have no children, (The Ayn Rand Institute, 1995) so one is left to wonder if this is the sort of self-sacrifice that would garner her approval. The Big Daddy’s of the game gain nothing in return for there services. Essentially, they are slaves to the charity of protecting the little sisters. Rand has long been criticized for her views on charity, “If all you do is go around trying to find victims of tsunamis to help, I think that is mistaken, I don’t think you can find fulfillment in life by living off tragedy,” Says Peter Schwartz, former chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute. (Schwartz, 2008) The Big Daddies live this life, and depending on how Bioshock 2 ends, as there are a number of possible endings, it could be that the protagonist did find such fulfillment.
    In the end, the Bioshock franchise leaves you to decide whether or not to embrace the virtue of selfishness. Both games have multiple moments where the player is left to decide what to do with an unprotected little sister. The player may choose to “harvest” the little sister, killing her. The player may also choose to “save” the little sister, allowing her to live, and absolving her of the parasitic slug, which is the source of her power. Bioshock attempts to provide reasoning for both decisions, as initially the decision can be extremely easy. One of the main characters in the game, named Atlas with a distinct lack of subtlety, argues that the girls are no longer human, “that’s not a child anymore,” he claims. (Irrational Games, 2007) If the player “Harvests” the little sister the protagonist gains more Adam, enabling him to become more powerful. This is clearly an act of selfishness. If the player “saves” the little sister, he does not receive the same payload of power, and instead is rewarded only with the satisfaction of helping others.
    It could never be said for sure if Rand would ever have chosen to take arguments from a gaming franchise seriously. Bioshock provides a dialogue with writings that have long been left uncontested by other narrative media. In retrospect, both Ayn Rand’s writings and the Bioshock franchise represent extreme worlds with mostly unrealistic characters and situations. They utilize “things as they are” or “things as they ought to be” “not… things as they are.” (Rand, 2008 p. V) With this in mind perhaps it is best to take what either of them say not just with an open mind, but perhaps also with a grain of salt.



    So what do y'all think?

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    I own and have played Bioshock 2. yet to beat it, lack any drive to either.

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    Thanks for this thread. Now I remember what game my son wants me to pre-order.

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    Hopefully there will be some kinda of release date with the new trailer. Even if it just says "spring", I'll be happy. Anything!

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    The first Bioshock was amazing, i sat and played that one straight for hours on end for something like 5 hours a night.....fell in love with the aesthetics of the city, all the brass and Jules Verne-20,000 leagues under the sea kind of style, the old timey music ooo just loved it, i found every audio tape, upgraded all weapons fully, hacked practically every device that i could. I loved so much that you could take the bathysphere and back track to the past areas to get the audio journals that might have been missed. Had a lot of fun finishing the story campaign.

    I was so full of adrenaline and a high from that game i immediately went and got the second one, a discounted limited edition for 35 dollars no less with the vinyl and cd soundtracks, art book and posters. Started up the game and maybe got half way through it and i still have yet to finish it for some reason :S

    Think i overindulged in the first game and just completely lost interest or motivation to keep playing the sequel, i haven't touched it for months... i really hope i can revisit the game and get some of that enjoyment back as Infinite definitely looks like a MUST play and i wouldn't want to leave Bioshock 2 still waiting in the wind if decide on playing Infinite.

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    Bioshock 2 is surprisingly great. In some ways its much more focused, and the gameplay is improved in some dramatic ways.

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    Bioshock 1 and 2 are still among my favorite games. Bioshock was fantastic on its own, but Bioshock 2 came along and improved on everything, without any disappointment, to me. And the special edition that came with it is still probably the best video game investment I've made. I have yet to get my prints framed, but I plan to once I move in June.

    Anyone think they'll offer a huge, awesome special edition with Inifinite? I'd imagine they would. More and more games (particularly franchises) seem to be going more balls-out for them. Either way, I'll probably throw down for whatever the "biggest" version of the game is. Not just for the game itself, but because the atmospheres and settings for these games are always in a league of their own. They're really beautiful.

    Shit, now all I wanna do is play Bioshock 2. Must...focus...on...essays...I can play all the games I want after Thursday...

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    Ken Levine announced that there definitely will be a collector's edition for Infinite, and the IG store is opening soon with shirts, prints, and the murder of crows bottle.

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    Ahhh! Excited. My girlfriend's gonna roll her eyes at the video game stuff I'll have hung up in our apartment. Between the BS2 stuff, the 8 Assassin's Creed prints I'm gonna frame together, and all the random game posters from gamestop and what not, we'll have a wall full.

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    I can't wait for this game. Bioshock is one of my favorite games. I'll be interested to see what the do with the Bird. I also liked how Elizabeth made you both rip time in to by going to the 80's. Bring it on!

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    Hnnnngh. Love Bioshock 1 & 2. Probably the only games that I have finished to completion multiple times over. I love the environments, storyline, gameplay, everything! I'm a bit wary of infinite. I'm going to play it, but it does not have that same Bioshock aura to it that made me fall in love with the first two. I know they had to change it up, but it really does not feel the same. Also, I am annoyed that they're making the player have a sidekick. I know they said there will be minimal interaction with her, but I cannot help but think of Resident Evil 4 where I would just leave Ashley in a crate for long periods of time while I got my shit done. If we have to run around with this girl in Bioshock, I'm going to leave her in another damn crate if possible!

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    Infinite is my most anticipated game of 2012 (with Mass Effect 3 and Darkness 2 not too far behind). I really wish there were more games with a similar "feel" to the Bioshock series. Dead Space is about as close as I've found- exploration of an abandoned, mysterious, atmospheric place that is filled with zombie analogues that you can dispose of with a variety of weapons/methods and topped off with a very basic RPG-esque character upgrade system.

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    Looks siiiiiick!

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    This is my most anticipated game of 2012. Many other great games, but THIS is the one I really want. If and when I hear anything about a release date or window, I'll lose my shit. Wait is killing me. Still rabid for FF Versus XIII, and this even has that beat.

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    BioShock Infinite will be released on October 16, 2012. There will 'almost certainly' be a collector's edition and IG games says the game 'dwarfs' the original in size, story, and action.

    FUCK. YES.

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    Quote Originally Posted by october_midnight View Post
    BioShock Infinite will be released on October 16, 2012. There will 'almost certainly' be a collector's edition and IG games says the game 'dwarfs' the original in size, story, and action.

    FUCK. YES.
    Between this and Assassin's Creed III, I'm going to be broke and unproductive my first semester at a university. Which, one way or another, was probably gonna happen anyway. I just hope that the collector's edition is as great as Bioshock 2. Not that it matters - I'm getting it regardless. :P

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    Bioshock: Infinite on PS3 will include a free copy of Bioshock included on the disc, too! I've still got my disc copy, but now maybe I could use that one as a loaner copy or something.

    http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1219821p1.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrea View Post
    Bioshock: Infinite on PS3 will include a free copy of Bioshock included on the disc, too! I've still got my disc copy, but now maybe I could use that one as a loaner copy or something.

    http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1219821p1.html

    People whine about Microsoft getting exclusive deals? Please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Suicide View Post
    People whine about Microsoft getting exclusive deals? Please.
    Yeah, what an amaaaaaaazing exclusive deal! I get a free game that I already own (and I could buy new for less than 10 bucks at this point). That's way better than timed exclusive DLC content for Skyrim! I'd much rather get a second copy of Bioshock 1 than have The Witcher 2 on my PS3! This is way better than having a year's head start on DLC for GTA IV and Fallout 3! This even makes up for the fact that Bioshock came out on the PS3 more than a year after it was released for Xbox and PC! Who cares if PS3 players get the multiplayer maps for every popular FPS a month late! At least we get a free copy of Bioshock in 2012!

    Or maybe the reason they're doing it on PS3 and not Xbox is because the game easily fits on the Blu Ray with room to spare.

    Anyway, the game looks good, but October is a long ways off. I can't keep looking forward to it til it comes closer to the date. Same goes for the Vita game, though it'd be nice to see some screenshots of that.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 03-01-2012 at 08:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by october_midnight View Post
    BioShock Infinite will be released on October 16, 2012. There will 'almost certainly' be a collector's edition and IG games says the game 'dwarfs' the original in size, story, and action.

    FUCK. YES.
    GOTY. Calling it already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmd 5a View Post
    GOTY. Calling it already.
    I'd be amazed if it doesn't. But I wouldn't be entired surprised if it doesn't... It's no call of duty.

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    Could someone tell me the massive acclaim and appeal of this game series? I own and enjoy Bioshock 2 but I don't seem to get why such the massive acclaim that it has? It's a cool atmosphere, the story is all right and the gameplay is good but what's the universal fanboyism?

    I AM NOT KNOCKING ANYONE. I am just curious is all. Everywhere else I look has douchebags telling off people asking the same question that I am now.

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    It's fun. The story's different from your average game these days. Very philosophical. The first two games had far more going on than the common "kill the baddie". The lore is what makes everything works; from Andrew Ryan and Sophia Lambs opposing philosophies.

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