The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
After playing BioShock Infinite enough to platinum it and also get bored with the game I started thinking what I would do if I were Ken Levine. If I had to make a BioShock game to follow the brilliance that Infinite and its predecessor presented, what could I possibly do to match that? What could anyone do in that seat? An answer to this question would have to be an idea never presented to a gamer. We've been underwater with Rapture, in the sky with Columbia and all over the damn galaxy with other games. History has been delved into extensively, cultures, both real and fictional, have been utterly explored and the impossible has been made possible in front of our eyes thanks to pushing buttons on our controller. To truly impress a gamer at this point is a challenge that matches or exceeds impressing any audience of any medium. The next BioShock city can't be a location. It can't be in space, or in a cave or something similar. A location in the world itself is iterative of the previous games and by now has jaded the audience, leaving location alone not enough to impress. The city therefore, regardless of location, needs to inspire awe in the player by being, much like Rapture and Columbia, something currently inconceivable in both design and architecture that is not solely placed upon where the city itself is. For that reason I propose an organic city.
"Finally, the quest for meaning in existence could gradually replace the goals of our almost complete secular world. To do this requires the total convergence of Science with Mysticism. While this task has already been started by a few individuals and groups [beginning in the 19th Century], it will not be until the entire world is involved, that a real change will be noticed. My proposal, therefore, for ending the world housing shortage is by growing houses from plant materials and developing genetically altered seeds which will induce habitable forms in single and multiple species, in other words Vegetable Chimeras. These forms will then begin to approximate the rich vocabulary of spaces the history of the Human Species has created from the individual home to cities with the mass and image of say New York City, which has now proliferated almost everywhere on the earth when the goal of urbanism is desired."- Paul Laffoley. (I encourage all to read up on this guy.)
Paul Laffoley, an artist, architect and brilliant mathematician, gave the idea of an entirely plant-based house in his essay, "Das Urpflanze Haus," in it he gave detailed, if somewhat obscure, hypothesis on how this could be achieved. This is , likely, not the first proposal to an organic based structure but Laffoley himself and his work provide a unique structure of what could be an idealist utopia based on a natural order. It's a natural order not hard to comprehend in our own world. We see a constant struggle against the exploitation of Earth in our present time. The "Green" movement has already taken the world by storm and it's not outside the realm of thought, for gamers at least, to perceive a cult-like society based on this natural usurping of modern civilization. Keeping in mind that Laffoley is a hermit who, as science as yet given a concrete explanation towards, has a shard of "unknown" metal in his brain, his theory is, expectedly, hard to follow. The man is eccentric to be sure but so was Andrew Ryan and so were the Luteces. In many ways, Laffoley, and his theories, fit the bill in Irrational's cast of characters with his almost detachment from what we see as reality.
An entirely organic city could provide players with something never before seen by any medium, something that the BioShock series has so far delivered with outstanding quality. Rapture was, besides being underwater, a city that made biological advancements in human anatomy too quickly for its own good. Columbia was based on over-worship of false pretense and also racism. What we saw from each city brought about a sense if amazement and awe. Both cities incited the player to make decisions, whether forced or not, that ultimately brought the city to its knees, especially with Columbia. With an organic city at the players controls we would not only see the city be destroyed, as we witnessed with Columbia, but we would also watch the city die.
I'd like to hear your ideas or thoughts on this. Whether you'd like to add to what I've proposed with your own thoughts or give your own unique ideas, please post comments below!