Yeah, yeah, I promised my last Bioshock post would be the last, but I lied. How could I pass up a chance to tell you about this insightful essay by Leigh Alexander, editor of Worlds in Motion and writer for Destructoid, Paste, Gamasutra and her blog, Sexy Videogameland:
One of the things that makes BioShock so compelling, ironically, is its humanity, a funny thing to think of when it’s so immediately evident just how far from humanity Rapture’s citizens have strayed. But it’s the objectivity of that distance that really gives one pause; though they’ve long since made fatal strides from the path of sanity, we can see behind each blood-smudged mask and spliced body, can hear in each broken moan and tortured whisper, the ghosts of who they used to be – ghosts that look quite a lot like us. full article here
Lots of games are disturbing, but few come as close as Bioshock in making the mirror to ourselves so unavoidably familiar and befitting to the world we live in now. Rapture is a place where good intentions have gone terribly wrong, and the victims are the very people who were supposed to benefit from an ideologically driven but fatally flawed plan. Hmm.
The theater guy in me can't resist: "Man, the inventor of the rack, the stake, the gallows, and the electrocutor; of the sword and gun; above all, of justice, duty, patriotism and all the other isms by which even those who are clever enough to be humanely disposed are persuaded to become the most destructive of all the destroyers." -- George Bernard Shaw, from The Devil's Disciple.