Ken Levine: BioShock Infinite Is Not About The Tea Party

by Matt Bertz on Oct 01, 2010 at 10:28 AM

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.