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BIOSHOCK

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Considering there is no part of the site dedicated to videogames (to my understanding), this is the most appropriate section I could find. May the moderators move this topic if they feel it necessary.

Anyhow, there is a videogame being developed called bioshock, and I believe it is inspired by Ayn Rand. Tell me what you think.

The plot of the game occurrs during the 1930's. The nation's most intelligent and innovative people have abandoned society to escape government restrictions and the threat of war, forming their own city beneath the ocean called 'Rapture'. The city of rapture is designed to look like an old New York, art deco style area. As the citizens produce, and conduct their scientific experiments, they eventually become mutated in the process, and the city is ruined. The main character is then sent into this now destroyed city, where he confronts the various inhabitants.

The premise seems to be reminiscient of Atlas Shrugged, with the productive people forming their own 'Atlas' society. And of course, rapture is under the water, which is consistent with Rand's analogy of Atlantis.

[Moved to Video Games sub-forum. sN]

Edited by softwareNerd

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It is directly influenced by Atlas.

Mr. Levine, the developer, says so quite a bit in interviews. But, being that the game (like its predecessor, System Shock 2) is about a utopia gone horribly, horribly wrong, I wouldn't expect the same kind of theme as Atlas. Just superficial influences in style and perhaps some sort of lets-not-go-to-extremes message.

Here is an interview/review/preview.

Here is a striking quote:

The city of Rapture looks like a Nick Gaetano painting made into a David Lynch film.

Essentially, he means to use Atlas as inspiration for the utopia that he intends to give the System Shock treatment to. I really liked System Shock 2, so I'll probably be checking the game out when it comes out. Maybe I'll post a review.

(BTW, if you ever wanted to see "Mystics of Spirit v Mystics of Muscle," then check out System Shock 2. It's about the starkest sci-fi concretization of the concepts I've ever seen)

Edited by Inspector

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I interviewed Ken Levine and... well, it's hard to say. Clearly he believes that absolutes = totalitarianism. But the individual or group responsible for the fall of Rapture is not, I think, meant to be an Objectivist. He, she, or they is/are meant to be a villain who pursues power, I think. What this will mean for the end product... we'll have to see I guess.

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For those of you who don't know Bioshock is a first person shooter set in an underwater utopia in the 1960's. You, the main character, are in a plane crash in the middle of an ocean. What's interesting about it for Objectivist is that the utopia is based off the ideas of "Andrew Ryan." An anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-religious philosopher.

The game starts out with a giant banner, "No gods, no kings, only man." Beautiful mid century music. Emblems on the wall for art, science, and industry. I love it.

The only thing I don't like about the story is that the society has fallen apart after the citizens started genetically enhancing themselves. :(

http://www.2kgames.com/bioshock/

Bioshock will be out on PC & XBOX so go support it objectivists! ;)

bioshock-2.jpg

Another screenshot.

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Why wound anyone who supports Objectivism want to support this game?

In the first question/answer from the Gamespot interview the designer states that he doesn't think there are (moral) black and whites.

I'm wondering why this game, among other FPS games available, would appeal to an Objectivist?

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Why wound anyone who supports Objectivism want to support this game?

I think he just pulled out some positive values, which he appreciates. Nothing wrong with that. He acknowledged that there are negative aspects as well.

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It may have pro-reason themes, though it's not apparent from the premise of the game. Also, the game designer obviously won't want to give away why/how this "Objectivist-ish" utopia collapsed, as it may be integral to gameplay.

I understand Dorian's motive (a desire to find positive value) maybe he can give a review of the game after he finishes it.

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I'm wondering why this game, among other FPS games available, would appeal to an Objectivist?

It appeals to me simply because the game design pedigree of the folks behind it is superb -- this is the latest product in a line of descent from classics like Ultima Underworld, System Shock (and its sequel), Thief and Deus Ex. Not to put too fine a point on it, but these people are crackerjack game designers. For that reason alone, I expect Bioshock will be a solid and enjoyable game.

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The opening sequence is worth seeing alone. As you go down to the city in the sea below in a special elevator/submarine an old film begins to play which covers the submarine window. It is a message from Andrew Ryan in a 1950's propaganda style format. I'll do my best to quote:

"Is man not entitled to the sweat off his own brow?

The man in Washington says NO! It belongs to democracy.

The pope in the Vatican says NO! It belong to the church.

The party in Soviet Russia says NO! It belong to everyone.

I reject all these ideas and instead offer something new. Something impossible. I give you... RAPTURE!"

The movie screen pulls away revealing a beautiful city. A giant squid, schools of fish, and whales are swimming in view as well. The audio from Andrew Ryan continues and he goes on about a perfect society where scientists are not limited by petty morality and artists are not held back, etc., etc.

This game encourages people to question modern morality based on being selfless or dedicated to society. It encourage people to think about the ideas of Ayn Rand. To me that is extremely valuable in itself.

The society started falling apart because the citizens were genetically altering themselves and they turned into addicts, mutants & monsters.

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It seems kind of hard to cram philosophy into a FPS. At least, not into the game play itself.

A traditional FPS yes, but if you have ever played Deus Ex you know there can be plenty of time for story and philosophy in a FPS/RPG hybrid.

Demo Movie

Edited by Solid_Choke

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http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/813/813214p1.html <-- Watch the video, they mention Ayn Rand in the beginning and how Atlas Shrugged inspired the game... Neat

I'm not sure where the Ayn Rand theme enters into the game, but I hope people realize the mind power and effort required to make a game like that. That could never have been done without a team of experts specializing in multiple different fields. That's not a movie, it's real time graphics, and that's hard to do.

The fire, the physics, and character development, the AI, etc., all require processing power to do. The 20 hours game play does seem rather short to me, and I get board with FPS games, but that does look like fun.

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Okay, I must say that was attracted to this game when I saw the preview movies for it. It is quite a beautiful achievement.

However, one thing about the same seriously bothers me: the theme. It is set in an underwater Objectivist city named Rapture, which inevitably was overcome by its own "decadence". Now you must use ADAM and EVE to save yourself in this world. The intro seems to serve as a warning about itself.

Did anyone miss the religious overtone?

At least the game is pretty. :P

Oh, and one last thing.... Andrew Ryan... Ayn Rand... get it?

Edited by Duo

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Okay, I must say that was attracted to this game when I saw the preview movies for it. It is quite a beautiful achievement.

However, one thing about the same seriously bothers me: the theme. It is set in an underwater Objectivist city named Rapture, which inevitably was overcome by its own "decadence". Now you must use ADAM and EVE to save yourself in this world. The intro seems to serve as a warning about itself.

Did anyone miss the religious overtone?

At least the game is pretty. :P

Oh, and one last thing.... Andrew Ryan... Ayn Rand... get it?

Well ADAM and EVE ruined the city. It's not clear yet whether the use of the two will save it.. I'm about 2 hours into the game.

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It came out today/yesterday I heard, my friend was playing it when I called him and I looked it up on Wikipedia and saw what it said about it being inspired by Atlas. I was about to make a thread about it but I saw this one. I might be getting a 360 soon so I will get the game and check it out.

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Oh, they are two threads about this game. I suggest merging them.

But yeah, a friend told me he really liked it and I looked it up on Wiki and found it was inspired by Atlas. BUT as far as I can tell, it never said anything about being an Objectivist game or city or whatever. So don't say things like that.

You never know, it might have been messed up because the people in it were like the Brandens... :P

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Oh, they are two threads about this game. I suggest merging them.

But yeah, a friend told me he really liked it and I looked it up on Wiki and found it was inspired by Atlas. BUT as far as I can tell, it never said anything about being an Objectivist game or city or whatever. So don't say things like that.

You never know, it might have been messed up because the people in it were like the Brandens... :lol:

It's not really an "Objectivist" city per se. It is just that the city is similar in many ways to Galt's Gulch in that it was hidden from the major population and inhabited by productive geniuses and had some form of highly capitalist economy.

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It's not really an "Objectivist" city per se. It is just that the city is similar in many ways to Galt's Gulch in that it was hidden from the major population and inhabited by productive geniuses and had some form of highly capitalist economy.

That's what I meant. It might have some similarities, but that doesn't mean it's the same thing. If anything, it looks pretty cool, I went to Best Buy and Wal-Mart today and saw it everywhere and it looks pretty cool! I'll have to get it and play through it to come up with a good review.

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Hi, I am new to the forums and look forward with discussing various topics with you guys/gals.

I think Bioshock has amazing graphics, creative and unique gameplay, and an entertaining story line. But I guess what it really comes down to is this Andrew Ryan guy is suppose to be some what based on Ayn Rand, and from as far as I can tell, Andrew Ryan is a crazy sociopath. So I think from a philosophical standpoint, that would be a knock on objectivism. Furthermore I don't think a Utopia of objectivist intellectuals would be turn asunder by some stem cells. Regardless the game is entertaining and I am eager to see if my theory that this is actually quite anti objectivist is correct.

Happy gaming,

Pat

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