The lights are on
As they've watched the BioShock Infinite gameplay video and read our cover story, many readers have noticed that the powers that be in Columbia have more than a few things in common with the uglier side of the Tea Party movement. We asked Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine about this in our special edition podcast, and he took the opportunity to set the record straight. BioShock Infinite is in no way intended to be a direct commentary on the current political climate.
"We get a lot of questions about this, and [it was] last thing that was on our minds – especially because when we started looking at these issues it was prior to some of the current political scenarios that you see," he said. "I have no interest, and the team has no interest in masquerading a current political situation in our game as a way to comment on the current political situation. I think it dates what you're doing, and if you're dealing with something that's very temporal and very current – pulled from the headlines – it's not something that's going to last. It's not something people are going to look back on in 10 or 20 years and find any interest in. You need to deal with more timeless issues.
"I think if you look at the issues that we're dealing with in BioShock Infinite, you're seeing reflections of them now but that's just because they are timeless. They come up over and over again – issues of nationalism, and issues of xenophobia, and issues of what is the role of government, and what is the role of individuals within the government. These are things that have come about over and over again though history because they're the important tensions."
So there you have it. Irrational Games is leaving the political punditry to the rest of the media.
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This will probably be the greatest game ever!
Never even thought about it. To distracted by the fact there is a new Bioshock game coming out.
D@mit when will game just be looked at as games??? Why don't we all have a good old fashion book burn, or stone the local witch... Do not put politics in the mix, or relegion there games...
Thats the best possible news. I like his mindset. I hate obvious political leanings (regardless of which political side the "message" falls into), during my games/movies/entertainment in general. Issues like this need to be portrayed with more shades of gray. It is, in my opinion, hollywoods biggest problem currently, and its great to see Ken and the folks at Irrational dealing with it in the bigger picture sense.
Why can't video games be viewed as just entertainment and art , yes they are meant to pull the player in, evoking different emotions. A certain connection to the story or person your playing as. But to go as far as saying it has political agenda lnked to what's going on now is a stretch. But it's an interesting perspective.
If you believe that, you may also believe Bioshock 1 is not a scathing indictment of Ayn Rand's philosophies.
I'm glad BioShock changed the venue from Rapture to Columbia. Bioshock 2 was cool and all, but this will really give the series a shot in the arm. As for politics, I don't read that much into video game plots. I enjoy them when their well written and "performed", but in the end, they're just games. Same with films for the most part, too.
I think if there is one thing Bioshock does really well is that it takes a satirical approach to real world ideals. Bioshock was based on humanity's obsession with perfection and vanity. With that said, what is the uglier side of the Tea Party movement?
I actually would have rather not known people were making this assumption, but now that I do, I'm glad Levine has come out with this comment. Not only that, it's a great philosophy for creating art.
Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and John Boehner have done a fine job of pitting me firlmy against anything the Tea Party supports, and anything most Republicans that have been in power for at least the past 10 years support. I'm excited to see what really happens this November, I'm hoping there are loads of people that feel the way I feel and just don't have the need to speak loudly about it outside of voting against everyone they support.
Good call on their part. Infinte looks pretty awsome.
I noticed the similairteis but like Ken just thought because it was due to the notions of xenophobia and nationlisim , these are issiues, that regardless of which side the polittical spectrum you fall, will always come up, and will always influence/incite people
Sounds like a great theme. I always love how Bioshock comments on human behavior and belief systems.
I don't have much history with the first two installments, but reading the article on this game and seeing all the powerful symbolic imagery really got me intrigued in this, I like games with substance.
And the seemingly ethnocentric, "America for Americans" ideal portrayed in the game's art isn't anything new: it was a prevalent attitude around the turn of the century. Props for historical accuracy (besides the whole floating city thing...)
I like that Ken Levine isn't trying to do some kind of commentary on the current poltitical landscape in Infinite; like he said, something like that would no last forever, and it would not be timeless.
Although there are games that I like that do present a commentary on American society in a satarical way. Actually it's just one game in particular, and that's GTA IV.
The Tea Party actually never crossed my mind in connection to this game. Can we please just listen to Ken Levine and leave the politics to the media and good, clean fun to the games?
Good. I enjoy playing games to get away from all of the bull**** that is politics. Good to know that I don't have to hear more about it when I go to turn on my system.