The Big Picture: Shock Treatment

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Falseprophet:
Bob, that was the best interpretation of this game I've heard. It seems like too many people, myself included, got hung up on all the supposedly-deep themes that were actually pretty damn shallow. But in the end, it's just one dude's failure to deal with his massive guilt. Beautiful.

And also very good for video games as a whole. Of course, MovieBob is better versed at this sort of analysis, because film has been doing this kind of thematic storytelling for a long time now, indeed ever since the days of theater (you only need to think of Shakespeare). But since AAA games such as "Bioshock Infinite", "Spec Ops: The Line" and "The Walking Dead" are now doing this as well, it is evident that better days lie ahead for storytelling in video games.

Amaror:

I.Muir:
Some of the mechanics they use to present the story I feel don't really work and it bugs me as much as time paradoxes. That being said I had a lot of fun playing it be more fun even discussing it with others and come to the conclusion that it tried to tackle theories it did not really understand and failed.

Mostly about how constants just do not fit in with multi verse theory at all. Liz suddenly becoming omniscient and some details about Booker being drowned. For instance: Liz drowned Booker thus removing Com-Stock and causing her to cease to exist. Why then wouldn't those events just loop anyway since she never existed to interfere with them.

Still good try.

There was another good post after the experienced points column about infinite explaining that.
I will try to recreate it, but if it doesn't work, go there.
So, in the End, after the cutscenes, you shortly play a few seconds of broker again, so he seems to be alive.
For clearance reason i will here refer to Anna and Elizabeth as two seperate persons.
In every Universe were Comstock comes out of the Baptism, he will steal an Anna from another Broker, thus creating an Elizabeth, which will consequently go back in time and kill all brokers before the baptism. But when Comstock isn't there, there also was no elizabeth to drown him so he does survive. Therefore: Any Universe that creates an Comstock, will also create an Elizabeth and therefore erase itself. Any Universe that makes Broker refuse the baptism, doesn't create Comstock, doesn't create Elizabeth and therefore stays in existence.
This way only the "Brokers" of the multiverse survive.

Yes but exactly why does the drowning of a Booker brought in from a different dimension who does not become com-stock remove com-stock? Wouldn't there be two Bookers present since they also went back in time to the same event in the one dimension. I mean the other Booker is still alive in the past, the one who becomes Com-Stock. I don't see how the Booker you are playing suddenly becomes the evil Com-stock just because you are brought back in time. If it is trying to tell me that event was somehow multidimensional then why would some Booker's survive the event at all and only the Com-stocks die.

It's also possible in some dimensions Booker just decided to be a better person and were not very interesting.

Piorn:
The Binary Choices thing REALLY got me. I like how it played with your expectations. The decision moments, the two differently colored sets of guns, etc.
But in the end, you see another booker who wasn't stabbed in the hand walking on another plank, propably with an Elizabeth with a cage-necklace...

I also love how they literally ripped open the possibilities for a sequel. They can now do everything they want, including alternate history, fantasy, Sci-Fi, you name it, as long as it contains a "man", a "city" and a "lighthouse", in the loosest sense of the words.

That was my though, although I really didn't like the choice they made in the end. I wouldn't have done that, IMO, the circle is already broken, it's just a matter of watching that it never happens again.

Also, did anyone else notice how interesting it was that Booker can use Bathyspheres, even though they're gene-coded to Ryan? Not like they're suggesting anything there, aye? ;P

I was worried after hearing about the religious controversy (and as a Christian, yeah, if this is what Ken Levine thinks Christianity is really like, he doesn't know any Christians that I do), but thankfully Comstock was just another cultist extremist lunatic. And the fact is, even if the game had been done from a purely Christian perspective, the point Levine makes holds true -- a man has to forgive himself, no matter if he seeks and/or gains forgiveness from someone else, he has to forgive himself, or none of that matters. And if he can't, he'll destroy himself utterly and entirely, one way or another. Plus considering Comstock seems to make it ideal for Booker to destroy Columbia, you could even argue that as self-destruction.

Thanks for the warning. I guess I'll have to see this one later.

Wait... so the argument here is that Bioshock Infinite was shallow... on purpose? Oh... great, I guess that makes everything better again. I'm not disappointed in BS:I, I actually just dislike BS:I. Here I was giving the benefit to a game I thought was trying to hit the high mark it's predecessor had set when really it was aiming for the low mark Halo had set and only gave the impression of aiming high for a trick shot.

I was being mean there, actually, because I still think that choices mattered, just not the ones you made. Dewitt's choice in the river mattered, your choice of necklaces didn't; Dewitt's choice in his apartment mattered, your choice of who to throw a baseball at didn't; Dewitt's final choice at the "lighthouse" mattered, your choice to kill or spare a crazy guy didn't. It was a little off-putting, actually, as if the game were trying to reinforce linearity. Not just in gameplay but in story.

In fact, I started to wonder why I (as the player of the game) was even there. Combat felt, partly because of it's mediocre nature but also because there was nothing else to break up the story, like a non-standard quick-time event. As in, I now have to get through this next section of button presses to get to the next part of the story and if I fail it'll just start me over again. The three "choices" I was given were just really slow quick-time events. The traveling between the shooting galleries was just an event that I had to get through to get to the story bits. You could say that about any game, but no other game spends so much time reinforcing the notion that what you're doing has no effect on what happens. That seems really opposite of what makes a game a "game".

So I agree with the small few that have said this: but this would've been better as a book or a movie... especially now that the idea of "shallow on purpose" has been introduced.

Desert Punk:

LiquidGrape:

Also I take issue with Bob's statement that the focus on the Booker/Elizabeth relationship makes the story "darker and bleaker". Surely the fact that the game renders a righteous rebellion against racist oppression a heinous act of barbarism which 'never should've happened' and proceeds to assume moral stances *for* the player is the darkest and bleakest and most depressingly cynical aspect of the game.

Well, it really never should have happened, the folk of the Vox were murderous thugs, there are multiple instances of them just murdering unarmed people because they are a bit annoyed.

But that's the problem. The game embarrasses itself trying to be "balanced". It paints the rebels - the enslaved, disenfranchised, tortured and oppressed - as though they were no better than Comstock's racist status quo. Booker and Elizabeth both make comments that amount to drawing direct moral equivalences between the two. It's disingenuous, and it's blatant intellectual cowardice on display. Daisy Fitzroy's characterisation (what little there was) goes out the window entirely in tandem with this painfully forced objective stance the game demands the player to assume, and then she's fridged for the benefit of Elizabeth's character development.

BioShock: Infinite is a neoconfederate racist theme park which never attempts to address or take responsibility for the issues and imagery it invokes. Worse, it outright misrepresents them.

LiquidGrape:

Desert Punk:

LiquidGrape:

Also I take issue with Bob's statement that the focus on the Booker/Elizabeth relationship makes the story "darker and bleaker". Surely the fact that the game renders a righteous rebellion against racist oppression a heinous act of barbarism which 'never should've happened' and proceeds to assume moral stances *for* the player is the darkest and bleakest and most depressingly cynical aspect of the game.

Well, it really never should have happened, the folk of the Vox were murderous thugs, there are multiple instances of them just murdering unarmed people because they are a bit annoyed.

But that's the problem. The game embarrasses itself trying to be "balanced". It paints the rebels - the enslaved, disenfranchised, tortured and oppressed - as though they were no better than Comstock's racist status quo. Booker and Elizabeth both make comments that amount to drawing direct moral equivalences between the two. It's disingenuous, and it's blatant intellectual cowardice on display. Daisy Fitzroy's characterisation (what little there was) goes out the window entirely in tandem with this painfully forced objective stance the game demands the player to assume, and then she's fridged for the benefit of Elizabeth's character development.

BioShock: Infinite is a neoconfederate racist theme park which never attempts to address or take responsibility for the issues and imagery it invokes. Worse, it outright misrepresents them.

I am given to wonder how much slavery there actually is, and how many people came to the city like Booker did and were just put in a lower social class because of where they are from. Certainly a class segregation but I dont think outright enslavement.

And my memory might be failing me but I dont recall any scenes where the underclasses were actively tortured. The closest I can come is a black dude who beats up an irish dude to get a job they had been bidding on.

Too bad the gameplay was mediocre.

Wow, that's a cool pre-rendered animated scene. I've never seen it before. If only the game was like THAT. Come on guys, face it already. Bioshock Infinite isn't as good as you try to remember it to be. The story is just some joke of a Star Trek parody that somebody imagined during a marijuana ride or in a bar after a couple of beers. Unfortunately, that story drowned the guys in the design department and dumbed down the gameplay. Seeing that trailer again I realized just how much Columbia and Elizabeth disappointed me. Seeing Elizabeth at the end of a noose, instead of being an immortal coin dispenser... that could've been something.
After all that publicity and "awesome" reviews, this game actually feels like 1984 chocolate price propaganda. If this game is "awesome" by today's standards, we're pretty much fracked.

LiquidGrape:

But that's the problem. The game embarrasses itself trying to be "balanced". It paints the rebels - the enslaved, disenfranchised, tortured and oppressed - as though they were no better than Comstock's racist status quo. Booker and Elizabeth both make comments that amount to drawing direct moral equivalences between the two. It's disingenuous, and it's blatant intellectual cowardice on display. Daisy Fitzroy's characterisation (what little there was) goes out the window entirely in tandem with this painfully forced objective stance the game demands the player to assume, and then she's fridged for the benefit of Elizabeth's character development.

BioShock: Infinite is a neoconfederate racist theme park which never attempts to address or take responsibility for the issues and imagery it invokes. Worse, it outright misrepresents them.

Because obviously, all revolutions are civilized and include no war crimes at all, especially amongst a people harboring a ton of resentment towards the people they are overthrowing.

Maybe in their original incarnation they weren't bad, but by the time Elizabeth is done mucking around with the universe, the new vox is a heavily armed, incredibly pissed off mob hungry for about 20 years worth of revenge. No, I can't see how this could possibly end badly.

I just finished Bioshock Infinite (like less than an hour ago), and I might've missed it, but where was this commentary on the nature of video game sequels?

Oh and thanks for your explanation of the ending, I didn't get that he became Comstock after the baptism and I was still utterly confused as to how the hell he was fighting himself.

Also what did he do at the battle of Wounded Knee?

Father Time:

Also what did he do at the battle of Wounded Knee?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre

Short version: Wounded knee is one of the most shameful chapters in US history involving the US army killing nearly 300 people, many of them unarmed. While exactly what Brooker did is never explicitly mentioned, it can be assumed his part in it probably messed him up somewhat.

Dalisclock:

Father Time:

Also what did he do at the battle of Wounded Knee?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre

Short version: Wounded knee is one of the most shameful chapters in US history involving the US army killing nearly 300 people, many of them unarmed. While exactly what Brooker did is never explicitly mentioned, it can be assumed his part in it probably messed him up somewhat.

Thank you.

I.Muir:

Amaror:

I.Muir:
Some of the mechanics they use to present the story I feel don't really work and it bugs me as much as time paradoxes. That being said I had a lot of fun playing it be more fun even discussing it with others and come to the conclusion that it tried to tackle theories it did not really understand and failed.

Mostly about how constants just do not fit in with multi verse theory at all. Liz suddenly becoming omniscient and some details about Booker being drowned. For instance: Liz drowned Booker thus removing Com-Stock and causing her to cease to exist. Why then wouldn't those events just loop anyway since she never existed to interfere with them.

Still good try.

There was another good post after the experienced points column about infinite explaining that.
I will try to recreate it, but if it doesn't work, go there.
So, in the End, after the cutscenes, you shortly play a few seconds of broker again, so he seems to be alive.
For clearance reason i will here refer to Anna and Elizabeth as two seperate persons.
In every Universe were Comstock comes out of the Baptism, he will steal an Anna from another Broker, thus creating an Elizabeth, which will consequently go back in time and kill all brokers before the baptism. But when Comstock isn't there, there also was no elizabeth to drown him so he does survive. Therefore: Any Universe that creates an Comstock, will also create an Elizabeth and therefore erase itself. Any Universe that makes Broker refuse the baptism, doesn't create Comstock, doesn't create Elizabeth and therefore stays in existence.
This way only the "Brokers" of the multiverse survive.

Yes but exactly why does the drowning of a Booker brought in from a different dimension who does not become com-stock remove com-stock? Wouldn't there be two Bookers present since they also went back in time to the same event in the one dimension. I mean the other Booker is still alive in the past, the one who becomes Com-Stock. I don't see how the Booker you are playing suddenly becomes the evil Com-stock just because you are brought back in time. If it is trying to tell me that event was somehow multidimensional then why would some Booker's survive the event at all and only the Com-stocks die.

It's also possible in some dimensions Booker just decided to be a better person and were not very interesting.

You didn't understand the ending right.
When you walk through that last door you BECOME past broker. The one from before the baptism and that past broker gets drowned.

Dalisclock:

Father Time:

Also what did he do at the battle of Wounded Knee?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre

Short version: Wounded knee is one of the most shameful chapters in US history involving the US army killing nearly 300 people, many of them unarmed. While exactly what Brooker did is never explicitly mentioned, it can be assumed his part in it probably messed him up somewhat.

There was a Comstock Voxophone which claimed that his commander mentioned that he had indianer blood in him, which made the whole company dislike him and so he tried to prove himself

Father Time:
Oh and thanks for your explanation of the ending, I didn't get that he became Comstock after the baptism and I was still utterly confused as to how the hell he was fighting himself.

Also what did he do at the battle of Wounded Knee?

You might want to replay the ending. There is a bug which makes the credits role, right after you walk through the last door. They shouldn't however. It gets explained by elizabeth that you became comstock. Just replay the last chapter, i got the right ending then.

Falseprophet:
Bob, that was the best interpretation of this game I've heard. It seems like too many people, myself included, got hung up on all the supposedly-deep themes that were actually pretty damn shallow. But in the end, it's just one dude's failure to deal with his massive guilt. Beautiful.

I think maybe player Booker might have not become an emotionally crippled alcoholic with dangerous amounts of gambling debt if his wife, presumably a woman he loved, hadn't, you know, died in childbirth. In my mind, that was probably the straw that broke the camel's back. He might have been able to work through his guilt and forgive himself if he had any kind of support system.

Amaror:

I.Muir:

Amaror:

There was another good post after the experienced points column about infinite explaining that.
I will try to recreate it, but if it doesn't work, go there.
So, in the End, after the cutscenes, you shortly play a few seconds of broker again, so he seems to be alive.
For clearance reason i will here refer to Anna and Elizabeth as two seperate persons.
In every Universe were Comstock comes out of the Baptism, he will steal an Anna from another Broker, thus creating an Elizabeth, which will consequently go back in time and kill all brokers before the baptism. But when Comstock isn't there, there also was no elizabeth to drown him so he does survive. Therefore: Any Universe that creates an Comstock, will also create an Elizabeth and therefore erase itself. Any Universe that makes Broker refuse the baptism, doesn't create Comstock, doesn't create Elizabeth and therefore stays in existence.
This way only the "Brokers" of the multiverse survive.

Yes but exactly why does the drowning of a Booker brought in from a different dimension who does not become com-stock remove com-stock? Wouldn't there be two Bookers present since they also went back in time to the same event in the one dimension. I mean the other Booker is still alive in the past, the one who becomes Com-Stock. I don't see how the Booker you are playing suddenly becomes the evil Com-stock just because you are brought back in time. If it is trying to tell me that event was somehow multidimensional then why would some Booker's survive the event at all and only the Com-stocks die.

It's also possible in some dimensions Booker just decided to be a better person and were not very interesting.

You didn't understand the ending right.
When you walk through that last door you BECOME past broker. The one from before the baptism and that past broker gets drowned.

Why did he become past Booker?
Why wouldn't there be two Booker's present?
Assuming Booker does not become evil for no reason past this point then his 'becoming' past Booker would have achieved the same thing as his drowning. I see they thought that they needed something more symbolic for Booker to face his sins but come on I don't need just accept it because they said so.
I know these things the games trying to tell me I just don't see why.

Bob....you DO realize that the Booker we see in the Stinger on the office is NOT the same Booker we play as, right?

The new timeline resets everything to the moment where Booker is STILL in debt and an alcoholic mass murderer. He doesn't have the character development he has when we play as him and reach the ending now. Meaning that he STILL can sell his own daughter, get to the baptism and become Comstock or just Booker.

The new timeline however, ensures that, as soon he becomes Comstock, the Elizabeths will appear and drown him ASAP. Because this mere act of BEING Comstock means that Columbia will be made, Elizabeth will be bought from another Booker, the entirety of Bioshock Infinite will happen, and Elizabeth will become omnipotent and drown the version of Booker that WANTS to be baptized and become Comstock. But the timelines with Booker rejecting baptism will remain intact.

Too bad that Booker is still and asshole. And even if he wasn't, where he will try to escape with the daughter and the debt?

Always good to get this sort of thing summed up and explained, since Bioshock Infinite hits you out of nowhere so fast that it's hard to take it all in, or even believe what we just saw.

I like what I got out of this video though. The entire Mass Effect trilogy did the same thing as this, make itself out to be this giant, save-the-universe affair, when all along it's actually all about Shepherd and his own personal battle against the reapers. Well, that's if you believe in the Indoctrination Theory that is, which I do because it doesn't blow up the universe and makes sense.

misterprickly:
Personally I thought the story was an absolute train wreck!

There's a big difference between different timeline and alternate reality.

It's not Supergirl vs Powergirl

image

It's HULK vs Maestro!

image

ALSO the hero fails to grasp the most obvious way of averting the evil future is to go back to his own time and be a better person; AKA the REAL T2 ending.

But that kind of ending doesn't sell many books.

The thing is there is a _second_ ending at the end to the credits which hints that none of it mattered.

Of course the whole Elizabeth drowns Booker thing is effectively Grandfather's paradox in mile high letters. Never mind it is not exactly clear why you wind up in Rapture.

Moviebob, you it it right on the head with why I like this game so much. Bioshock 1 took narrative structure and turned it on its head: Bioshock Infinite took what Bioshock 1 did and turned it on its own head. I also like what they did with Elizabeth: her story was very much a coming of age one, as she realizes who and what Booker is and grows up to help him grow out of his problems. It becomes very much a symbiotic relationship between the two.

I.Muir:

Amaror:
snip

Why did he become past Booker?
Why wouldn't there be two Booker's present?
Assuming Booker does not become evil for no reason past this point then his 'becoming' past Booker would have achieved the same thing as his drowning. I see they thought that they needed something more symbolic for Booker to face his sins but come on I don't need just accept it because they said so.
I know these things the games trying to tell me I just don't see why.

I thought because there can only be one Broker.
Now let me explain a bit. After the baptism there were two versions of Broker. That's the reasen why both were able to exist in the same universe. Because both versions were different. Even though there were thousands of Comstocks, No one of them could go into a Comstock universe without becoming the comstock of that universe.
That's why The professor whatshername could only get another version of herself into the same universe, namely the version of her, where she was born as a boy. She wouldn't be able to pull a never-ending amount of herself into one universe, because only one of each person can be in one universe. But because Broker and Comstock took so different routes, they essentially became different persons and thus could live in the same universe. But when broker went back in the time were there was only one broker, both brokers couldn't live exist together in that universe and thus merged with oneanother.

Amaror:

I.Muir:

Amaror:
snip

Snip

I thought because there can only be one Broker.
Now let me explain a bit. After the baptism there were two versions of Broker. That's the reasen why both were able to exist in the same universe. Because both versions were different. Even though there were thousands of Comstocks, No one of them could go into a Comstock universe without becoming the comstock of that universe.
That's why The professor whatshername could only get another version of herself into the same universe, namely the version of her, where she was born as a boy. She wouldn't be able to pull a never-ending amount of herself into one universe, because only one of each person can be in one universe. But because Broker and Comstock took so different routes, they essentially became different persons and thus could live in the same universe. But when broker went back in the time were there was only one broker, both brokers couldn't live exist together in that universe and thus merged with one another.

So they merged because of plot and still would have become Com-Stock because of plot.
Eventually I'm just going to reach that wall of they just do ok so we might as well end this here.

Bob! WHY?! I can't watch your video; I haven't played the game yet!

LiquidGrape:

Desert Punk:

LiquidGrape:

Also I take issue with Bob's statement that the focus on the Booker/Elizabeth relationship makes the story "darker and bleaker". Surely the fact that the game renders a righteous rebellion against racist oppression a heinous act of barbarism which 'never should've happened' and proceeds to assume moral stances *for* the player is the darkest and bleakest and most depressingly cynical aspect of the game.

Well, it really never should have happened, the folk of the Vox were murderous thugs, there are multiple instances of them just murdering unarmed people because they are a bit annoyed.

But that's the problem. The game embarrasses itself trying to be "balanced". It paints the rebels - the enslaved, disenfranchised, tortured and oppressed - as though they were no better than Comstock's racist status quo. Booker and Elizabeth both make comments that amount to drawing direct moral equivalences between the two. It's disingenuous, and it's blatant intellectual cowardice on display. Daisy Fitzroy's characterisation (what little there was) goes out the window entirely in tandem with this painfully forced objective stance the game demands the player to assume, and then she's fridged for the benefit of Elizabeth's character development.

BioShock: Infinite is a neoconfederate racist theme park which never attempts to address or take responsibility for the issues and imagery it invokes. Worse, it outright misrepresents them.

I always find it surprising that people have problems how the Vox are portrayed.
1) Elizabeth jumped us through 2 tears before things got out of hand.
2) Given what has historically happened during these kinds of populist uprisings ... its pretty spot on

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reign_of_Terror
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Execution_of_the_Romanov_family

3) Daisy Fitzroy was never the point to begin with - the point was to show the results of Elizabeth mucking around with space-time and jumping through tears as any easy way to get what she wants.

I played the game. I thought the end was ok. I just wanted Elizabeth to see Paris.

Aardvaarkman:

schwegburt:
Cinematics and preview material from before the release. I get the impression they iterated a decent number of details between then and now. Like Elizabeth coming across as more of a telepath than dimension hopper.

That's probably why I don't watch game trailers, or care very much about anything that's written or shown before the actual release of a game. The question is, why did Bob use this footage, when it's not actually representative of the game as it was released?

Aardvaarkman:

conanthegamer:
Notice how you barely mentioned the Fitzroy narrative of freedom fighter turns into a blood lusting gang. i.e. Che, Sandinista's, Russian Revolution, etc.

Or, perhaps significantly more relevant to the topic at hand, the American Revolution.

I don't remember any massacres of the British after we gained our independence from them.

zombiejoe:

kailus13:
As someone who has never played the game, I am asking this out of ignorance. Wouldn't going back and stopping Booker from fighting in Wounded Knee make more sense than killing him?

Maybe it would. But imagine all the variables that would happen if they did that. For all we know Booker might not have had his baby, or maybe he'd be depressed over NOT fighting. Who knows.

But good point.

Of course killing him at the point of the baptism has it's own flaws. It means that Booker goes on to have Anna while becoming a depressed alcoholic father potentially willing to give his child away to solve his problems. This new beginning starts with all the flaws that led to these problems initially since he's never had a chance to grow or change as a person.

The odds of Anna or Booker living a 'normal' life in this 'happy' ending are remote.

conanthegamer:

Aardvaarkman:

conanthegamer:
Notice how you barely mentioned the Fitzroy narrative of freedom fighter turns into a blood lusting gang. i.e. Che, Sandinista's, Russian Revolution, etc.

Or, perhaps significantly more relevant to the topic at hand, the American Revolution.

I don't remember any massacres of the British after we gained our independence from them.

Why does it have to be against the British? After all, in Bioshock Infinite, Daisy Fitzroy attacks Booker, who was trying to help them. Also mentioned in the game is Wounded Knee, where Americans turned into a bloodthirsty gang.

How about the years of slavery, lynchings and oppression that followed the American Revolution? Or the internment of Japanese civilians during WWII? Or the Vietnam war and the horrific actions committed there by American troops? Or the current killings of hundreds of innocent civilians and children by Americans in retribution for 9/11?

Just this week, I have seen comments on message boards about how due process should be suspended, and that we should basically just lynch or torture anybody suspected of the bombings in Boston. A bloodthirsty mob, indeed.

Since you mention the British, isn't it also interesting that America still practices the death penalty, while England and most other civilized countries have banned this as an abhorrent practice? I'm not saying that the American Revolution shouldn't have happened - but to pretend that Americans haven't acted in bloodthirsty ways since then is just ignoring reality. America became a world "superpower" - just like England was at the time, only then it was called "Empire." America has simply taken the role that the British Empire had.

EDIT: Just to make it perfectly clear, have you not noticed that the Bioshock series is all about ideologies (of all stripes) gone horribly wrong? And Bioshock Infinite is specifically refers to the ideals of the American Revolution gone horribly wrong. I really don't understand how somebody could play the game and not pick up on that theme.

In any case, the point of my reply was that I was replying to someone who was only mentioning "Communist" atrocities, while there are just as many examples from the other end of the political spectrum, including some rather notable examples from the 20th Century (which I hardly need mention).

Everybody thinks they are a freedom fighter, or on the side of "good" - but what consequences does the fight for your idea of "freedom" have?

misterprickly:

ALSO the hero fails to grasp the most obvious way of averting the evil future is to go back to his own time and be a better person; AKA the REAL T2 ending.

But that kind of ending doesn't sell many books.

Totally agree, they are dealing with multiple realities/universes and the best solution he found was suicide :S

Captcha: Change the world... really !!!

I'm impressed. B:I is the It game of the moment, which means amongst gaming circles, it is generally untouchable. I can appreciate that this is a commentary coming from a place of admiration that still acknowledges the flaw-that-works-for-some-people.

That said, I don't think it was dog-dog-dog-dog-ELEPHANT. It was dog-dog-dog-otter-otter-otter-ELEPHANT. The first half and the second half of the game are an incredible disconnect with each other. The problem is not that the game was always about one thing and then became about something else right at the end, it's that it was one thing, became a second thing, and then did a backwards somersault flip into a third thing that only sorta tied the first two together.

The game starts out very Bioshock 1 like. It seems to be about Columbia, about political narrative. About extremism and ideologies. Then, after the first reality shift, the game stops being about that. Elizabeth stops really noticing the world around her, Booker doesn't really comment but to say the obvious cynical stuff, and the game instead focuses on Booker and Elizabeth as characters and their relationship together. I don't think the big thematically important message we learn about Booker justifies the game's lack of continuity. It weakens it significantly.

THEN it becomes about the whole billions of lighthouses, baptism, Comstock-is-Booker thing.

That's my issue. It strikes me that this game had the same issue Pixar's Brave did: it wanted to be one thing, it became another, so when it tried to be both, it could only half-succeed, despite doing these disparate things very well.

Aardvaarkman:

conanthegamer:

Aardvaarkman:

Or, perhaps significantly more relevant to the topic at hand, the American Revolution.

I don't remember any massacres of the British after we gained our independence from them.

Why does it have to be against the British? After all, in Bioshock Infinite, Daisy Fitzroy attacks Booker, who was trying to help them. Also mentioned in the game is Wounded Knee, where Americans turned into a bloodthirsty gang.

How about the years of slavery, lynchings and oppression that followed the American Revolution? Or the internment of Japanese civilians during WWII? Or the Vietnam war and the horrific actions committed there by American troops? Or the current killings of hundreds of innocent civilians and children by Americans in retribution for 9/11?

Just this week, I have seen comments on message boards about how due process should be suspended, and that we should basically just lynch or torture anybody suspected of the bombings in Boston. A bloodthirsty mob, indeed.

Since you mention the British, isn't it also interesting that America still practices the death penalty, while England and most other civilized countries have banned this as an abhorrent practice? I'm not saying that the American Revolution shouldn't have happened - but to pretend that Americans haven't acted in bloodthirsty ways since then is just ignoring reality. America became a world "superpower" - just like England was at the time, only then it was called "Empire." America has simply taken the role that the British Empire had.

EDIT: Just to make it perfectly clear, have you not noticed that the Bioshock series is all about ideologies (of all stripes) gone horribly wrong? And Bioshock Infinite is specifically refers to the ideals of the American Revolution gone horribly wrong. I really don't understand how somebody could play the game and not pick up on that theme.

In any case, the point of my reply was that I was replying to someone who was only mentioning "Communist" atrocities, while there are just as many examples from the other end of the political spectrum, including some rather notable examples from the 20th Century (which I hardly need mention).

Everybody thinks they are a freedom fighter, or on the side of "good" - but what consequences does the fight for your idea of "freedom" have?

Got it, America's only country or group of people with blood on it's hand.

America = BAD Everyone else = GOOD

kailus13:
As someone who has never played the game, I am asking this out of ignorance. Wouldn't going back and stopping Booker from fighting in Wounded Knee make more sense than killing him?

Technically speaking wouldn't that still allow him the chance to make a monstrously horrible decision that would lead to him needing some form of self-destruction? I'm not saying that all universes would act like that, but killing him is a definite solution, while only stopping him at wounded knee opens many variables that could still lead the whole story back on the same track.

conanthegamer:

Got it, America's only country or group of people with blood on it's hand.

America = BAD Everyone else = GOOD

What the hell? When did I ever say that. I specifically pointed out that it applies to pretty much everybody. I don't know how you managed to get that interpretation from my post. I mean, who do you think I was referring to with my "notable examples from the 20th Century"? Hint: they were involved in perhaps the most famous war of all time.

Or do you really believe that America is totally innocent and free of the excesses that come with ideology?

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