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Bioshock Infinite, A start to a definition

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                One of the most significant turning points in Bioshock Infinite was the first major event in the story, winning the raffle.  Booker DeWitt wins the opportunity of first throw at a captured and bound couple, an Irish man and an African American woman.  This prefaces the horrors that Booker is stuck in and the severity of his situation.  One of the points in my game analysis is to define reality and what it really is.  In Reality is Broken it never really defined what reality was, How to do Things with Video Games only focused on social implications along with My life as a night elf priest.  Defining reality is often times the perception of a predisposition you have already made up in your mind.  In the game, this isn’t viewed as inhumane or crazy because that is what these people know.  In our life we have been taught that this is unjust and inhumane.  This article starts to help question what level of reality games can create for a good story.




One thought on “Bioshock Infinite, A start to a definition

  1. The tension between the seeming normalcy of the the residents of Columbia and their fantastic racism is crafted quite spectacularly, and highlights the way in which decency and vileness can exist in the same society or person. Part of the difficulty in crafting such a world is in creating two kinds of verisimilitude; a believable world in which the characters are situated, and believable characters who operate as we do, projecting our own thoughts and desires on the world around us, imposing a world order that is both given and at times individual. However, one problem with the game that makes me think steps like this may be smaller than they initially seem is the following:

    *SPOILERS for Bioshock Infinite*

    The portrayal of the Vox Populi was problematic. The Vox are an organization lead by Daisy Fitzroy, an initially bad ass seeming woman of color who wants to free Columbia’s lower classes by over throwing the rich. At first it seems like their cause is quite justifiable, given that they are fighting a class, racist, theocratic and fascistic government and society. However, as the game progresses and you enter multiple alternate universes, they become more and more extreme. Daisy is finally seen attempting to kill a child simply because he comes from a rich family before your companion Elizabeth strikes her down. In some ways it makes sense; the Vox make for a new enemy type. Most of the interaction with the world has been via killing, so it wouldn’t make mechanical sense to deal with them in any way that doesn’t involve such. Finally, it highlights the way in which Columbia progressively goes to crap. But it still makes the game seem like it doesn’t want to step on anyone’s toes or offend them by supporting political dissidents. It makes Fitzroy as bad as the primary antagonist Comstock in her own way and paints a very black and white (or maybe black and black) picture. It’s proof that we still have a way to go before games, especially major games, can make dangerous statements. Bioshock Infinite deserves praise for dealing with class and race in unheard of ways, but we still have a way to go.

    Posted by emmapezz | June 9, 2013, 4:30 pm

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