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BIOSHOCK

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libGommi
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I'm about 10-15 hours in and so far I view it as anti-objectivist... I'm desperately hoping it will recover. It's still completely possible. Andrew Ryan is being painted as a hypocritical murderer but until I understand his reasoning and the full story I cannot tell if it was justified or not.

If the director is trying to knock objectivism it's because he failed to understand it, Andrew Ryan would not be a true objectivist.

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If the director is trying to knock objectivism it's because he failed to understand it, Andrew Ryan would not be a true objectivist.

Spoiler alert!

I know for a fact that he knows Andrew Ryan is not a true Objectivist. He said as much in the interview but requested I didn't publish a spoiler. I haven't played yet, but now that the game is out, I think it is safe to say that. In his words, "He's no John Galt."

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Again, I haven't played it yet but this may not be crack on Objectivism so much as trying to make an interesting storyline. You've got to admit, crazy ass-mutants are more interesting to fight against then cowardly tax collectors.

Plus, look at some of the stories about Super-Man in the alternate universes. Sometimes Super-Man goes crazy and turns evil, that doesn't mean that Super-Man is bad or what he stands for is bad... just that version of Super-Man.

It might be something similiar?

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I don't think so. I really hope your right Mammon, but at the part I am at Andrew Ryan talks about how he once owned a forest and the government tried to sieze it from him so he burnt it to the ground. He then uses this rational at his explanation for attempting to kill everyone on Rapture. Also I would find a certain grim satisfaction in fighting a bunch of tax collecters, as long as they initiated the violence of course.

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I don't think so. I really hope your right Mammon, but at the part I am at Andrew Ryan talks about how he once owned a forest and the government tried to sieze it from him so he burnt it to the ground. He then uses this rational at his explanation for attempting to kill everyone on Rapture. Also I would find a certain grim satisfaction in fighting a bunch of tax collecters, as long as they initiated the violence of course.

The forest thing sounds pretty parallel to the way Francisco treated D'Anconia Copper in Atlas Shrugged -- the People's State of Argentina tried to nationalize his company, and he destroyed it. Francisco, as I recall, arranged the destruction in a way that did not kill innocent workers. You'd need a lot more justification than "they tried to take my stuff" to justify mass killing.

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Also I would find a certain grim satisfaction in fighting a bunch of tax collecters, as long as they initiated the violence of course.
By definition of their job title, wouldn't they have to have initiated it? :)

The forest thing sounds pretty parallel to the way Francisco treated D'Anconia Copper in Atlas Shrugged
I was thinking more of Ellis Wyatt and the "torch." What Levine is doing with the game could be said to be more akin to American McGee's Alice for Objectivism meets System Shock. That much I'm sure of. The question is whether he did it clearly enough for it to be recognizable as a distortion, or whether it is muddled and becomes another libertarian smear-job-by-association.

Right now, my video card doesn't have shader model 3.0 so I'm stuck in the dark for the time being. (the game won't run without it)

Edited by Inspector
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I was actually thinking of Roarke and his detonation of the his buildings but I think all those examples apply equally. Im done with this game, its getting more and more disgusting as you go on, I can't keep playing it without feeling dirty, on a sidenote anyone know of any good first person shooters for the 360?

Thanks

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I was actually thinking of Roarke and his detonation of the his buildings but I think all those examples apply equally. Im done with this game, its getting more and more disgusting as you go on, I can't keep playing it without feeling dirty, on a sidenote anyone know of any good first person shooters for the 360?

Thanks

Disgusting how? Do you mean violent? If you're disgusted because you think the game is anti-reason or objectivism I can say the good news is that after playing for a while and getting to a big reveal I can strongly say this game is definitely not anti-objectivism. I don't want to say anymore because it will be a spoiler, even saying this is a bit of a spoiler if you try to connect the dots.

I had my doubts at first but I was confident a real life Elsworth Toohey could never create & direct a game as brilliant and masterful as this. Just like in the books, strong minds, and objective reasoning is required to create good art people can admire. Elsworth would never have the confidence to create something great or the desire.

As for other FPS games on the 360 my top 3 suggestions in this order would be: Gears of War (not quite first person), Oblivion (FPS/RPG), & Rainbow 6 Vegas. Aside from FPS games I would strongly suggest Dead Rising.

In my opinion none of these games compare to Bioshock on level of importance, interest, & quality.

Edited by Dorian
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Well I'll be darned, I about lost hope for this game but I guess I'll keep playing to see if it gets any better.

Spoiler Alert

I just completed the part where the artist has you hunt down and kill 4 people, take pictures of their corpses and then add them to his "masterpiece." I am hoping this is the all type low point of the game because i didn't exactly feel uplifted helping this crazy make his macabre art.

Thank you for your game sugguestions, I agree with your first 3 choices, those were the first 3 games I got for the 360. I havent tried Dead Rising yet, I'll have to give it a shot.

Thanks

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Bioshock is a first person shooter with Objectivist overtones. http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/32465

The protagonist is Andrew Ryan and there is a mysterious man called Atlas who is supposedly the antagonist.

The initial plot of BioShock -- the founding of this utopia -- mirrors the plot (albeit through a glass darkly) of Rand's 1960's epic book "Atlas Shrugged." In "Atlas Shrugged" the worlds elite -- the "atlases" -- stage a minor rebellion and remove themselves to a better place: a valley where they can be free of the eye and hand of the world's governments and those who would leech off their talents. While the rhetoric of Rapture's founder, Andrew Ryan (an anagram of Ayn Rand with an extra "rew" thrown in for obfuscation) sounds like a Randian polemic, his nemesis is ambiguously named "Atlas." To figure out which one is really the good guy or the bad guy, we'll all have to play the game.

Here is the wiki link.

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I just completed the part where the artist has you hunt down and kill 4 people, take pictures of their corpses and then add them to his "masterpiece." I am hoping this is the all type low point of the game because i didn't exactly feel uplifted helping this crazy make his macabre art.

I agree. The reveal made me feel better about that too.

I want to say more but I don't know how to highlight text in black to hide a spoiler.

Edited by Dorian
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I just finished the game and I must say it was the best game I've played in a while, I think it may actually be my all time favorite game. Resident Evil 4 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time being close contenders.

This game is not without its faults but overall I was extremely satisfied. The entire game is about 20 hours long too which is starting to become rare these days.

Overall this is the kind of game objectivist can deal with but I don't agree with the style of the story and ending. Still this is the kind of game which will cause people to question there ideals and morality which to me is of great significance. It will cause people to think about the ideas of Ayn Rand.

The game is beautiful and with many different areas (markets, docks, research areas, industrial areas, and more) it will constantly keep your interested. The AI is fun and unique, the enemies react to fire by trying to put themselves out in water. If health is low they will run for the nearest health station. Enemies from crazy brutes to mutant genetic "splicers." One funny thing about the enemies, the smugglers, was that they were mostly religious and would rave on about Jesus and say various other statements a typical reverend would.

The controls and design are very solid, simple, and intuitive. Fans of Half-Life 1 will enjoy this game for sure.

The game will present you with many situations which will make you pause and think about the best way to handle it. Its the kind of action game where if you stop and think you will definitely be rewarded. Another great thing about this game is that when you die, rather than forcing you to reload the last checkpoint you simply respawn at the nearest recovery station and instantly you can run back into the action. This is something many new games don't do and never made sense to me. In most new FPS games if you die you are forced to reload completely ruining the pacing of the game.

Throughout the game you are given the option to kill or rescue these genetically altered little girls. If you rescue them you get less Adam which is used to unlock new powers. The results of your actions slightly change the outcome of the game.

One thing I don't like about this game is that it is almost completely indoors and mostly in small rooms and corridors. This remains true for most of the game and overall leads to constant claustrophobic feeling which never goes away. This is mostly a technical limitation but there still were some areas that felt more open.

I think this game may be very difficult to deal with for objecivist. It walks the line between pro-objectivism and anti-objectivism for the majority of the game. Is Andrew Ryan a psychopath or not!? When things get darkest the truth is revealed.

Spoilers

This game is also is a tragedy which I think contradicts with objectivist philosophy. The first and major attribute to all tragedies is the rejection of free will. Romeo and Juliet as an example were "star fated lovers." And just like R&J, it is revealed that for the majority of the game you did not have free will. You were under mind control.

As I predicted Andrew Ryan was the good guy, and Atlas was the bad guy. It doesn't take an expect to figure out Atlas was corrupt, but it does take someone special to recognize Andrew Ryan is a good guy.

At one point Andrew Ryan attempts to destroy his city before it can be taken by looters by removing oxygen, then, when given no option, he tries to destroy it all knowing a few innocents will die. I agreed with Andrew's actions. I would take down the entire city rather than let it be run by a bunch of brutes turning whatever innocents remain into slaves.

Finally I give it the thumbs up. I highly recommend it, especially to any objectivist. But be warned, this game is very violent and does go to some extremely dark places.

Edited by Dorian
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You were right Dorian, I should have beat the game before I passed judgement on it. I think I am going to play the end over again just for the story line.

After I found out Atlas was actually Fontaine (sp?) I was so angry, I'm so glad Ryan ended up being a good guy but I wish instead of having to kill him it could have somehow worked out so that Ryan joined you and you could work together. Still that game was awesome.

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Someone I recently spoke to said there is no Objectivist overture in that game.

For the record, I think I was the one who said that, and I had only played a little bit in the first two levels, and up to that point there really were no Objectivist overtones, except for a few disconnected slogans and elements. It was just a game, I was running around shooting at things and getting killed. :confused:

Now, however, I have reached the point where

you meet Andrew Ryan, and learn of the "would you kindly" phrase

, and I am not done yet. What a plot twist! At first I thought

Andrew Ryan was being portrayed as an evil person, that his ideals were being portrayed as evil, but at this point he earned my sympathy

. I am trying to reserve judgment until the end of the game...

I am bothered, however, by the number of "reviews" out there that seem to be written by people who haven't even bothered to play the game but instead wish to use it as an opportunity for Rand-bashing or Objectivism-bashing. :( Apparently this sort of thing would happen regardless of the content of the game...

I hope I am not disappointed by the game's ending.

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You were right Dorian, I should have beat the game before I passed judgement on it. I think I am going to play the end over again just for the story line.

After I found out Atlas was actually Fontaine (sp?) I was so angry, I'm so glad Ryan ended up being a good guy but I wish instead of having to kill him it could have somehow worked out so that Ryan joined you and you could work together. Still that game was awesome.

I agree. I think the option should have been available.

I predicted Andrew was the good guy. I think it would have been easy to allow the player this option and easily branch the story. The alarms could have gone off because of Fontaine instead, Ryan could have easily been with you after waking up.

Edited by Dorian
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First, I am not (nor will I ever have the philosophical hubris to consider myself) an objectivist. Keep this in mind if anything is slightly off the mark.

All this talk about

And Ryan as the "good guy"

makes me think you must have missed 75% of the audio logs in the game, or at least not bothered listening to and comprehending most of them.

I can think of a few of his actions off the top of my head that would defy this characterization immediately:

-

Physically killed the "lower-class" woman he had accidentally impregnated when she told him she was with child

-

Killed his chief natural biologist/geneticist for trying to save the oxygen supply and thus the entire population of Rapture

-

Had his chief of police thug assassinate a singer who had been producing political ballads critical of his administration

-

Potentially killed the entire population of Rapture by proxy (oxygen deprivation, self-destruct at end)

-

Refused to adjust to the market demand that ADAM created, sending his law enforcement thug to kill Fontaine and take over Fontaine Futuristics by force

-

Gamed the entire system by starting himself out as an overlord/dictator of Rapture despite his rhetoric about the "sweat of your brow", without any pretense of elections as a means to "earn" that position. A completely isolated environment like Rapture with radical Objectivist rhetoric as its core and only value set would require all to start from a position of relative parity to bear fruit vis-a-vis its tenets. See also: Fontaine's audio log about everyone who came thinking they'd be captains of industry and not realizing someone still had to scrub toilets and fold laundry.

-

Became so dogmatic in his beliefs that when the system was beyond not working, he chided himself for even questioning his ideology instead of using any of numerous methods at his disposal (market adjustment, coercion) on a macrocosmic level (despite having used both for his petty personal benefit) .

I also think this perception of ADAM as inherently evil is entirely based on the current superstitious sense of "purity" we have re: genes and genetics, now that the human genome has been mapped and we better (but not nearly well enough) understand our biological core. Before, the rhetoric was "one drop of Negro blood". In the game, the evil existed in the application of ADAM and plasmids, an X factor, in an environment that was the least prone to collectivized discretion and containment.

In a theoretical world where self is the only consideration, such as Rapture was in the game, any advantage one could attain over one's "fellow man" exclusively through self-improvement is rewarded, and since the concept of consequence is such an individualized entity in objectivist theory (from my understanding), Rapture's constantly adversarial population had no means of conceptualizing danger based on another person's irregular reaction to splicing, since it was "the other guy's problem". Intelligence regarding gene theory, even in a highly scientific environment such as Rapture, was surely primitive at best in the time period the game is set. Couple this with the marketing of Gatherer Gardens, human instinct and susceptibility to poor judgment in the name of competitive spirit, and you have a feckless, ready-made eugenics society, which is also touched on in-game.

I've said enough for now. I'm not the 100-page speech type, I'm afraid, so perhaps more will be forthcoming later. I'd be interested to hear comments.

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All this talk about

And Ryan as the "good guy"

makes me think you must have missed 75% of the audio logs in the game, or at least not bothered listening to and comprehending most of them.

I do recall all the events & logs you mentioned and did comprehend them.

Labeling Ryan

the good guy

is not the best way to put it. Between Fountaine and Ryan I would side with Ryan (if I had no choice). They both have major issues. I view Fountaine as evil, I view Ryan as attempting to be good but doesn't understand that he contradicts himself and is intellectually dishonest.

-

Killed his chief natural biologist/geneticist for trying to save the oxygen supply and thus the entire population of Rapture

I don't agree with Ryans actions in this case however I th ink he realized his city was being destroyed by smugglers/mutants. He realized they would enslave any innocents left behind. If I would put in that unreal situation I think I would have killed off the oxygen supply if people had time to get out and fair warning. I definitely would not murder the bioligist to do so.

I also think this perception of ADAM as inherently evil is entirely based on the current superstitious sense of "purity" we have re: genes and genetics, now that the human genome has been mapped and we better (but not nearly well enough) understand our biological core.

I don't think the game stated that ADAM is evil or meant to message that. The main character even uses ADAM to enhance himself. The only evil I saw was what people did to get it and what people did with it. It's like people blaming guns instead of people.

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I don't agree with Ryans actions in this case however I th ink he realized his city was being destroyed by smugglers/mutants. He realized they would enslave any innocents left behind.

New here, just registered to talk with you about the game.

I think you may have missed a few audiologs and maybe didn't fully pay attention to all the radio messages.

In the game, Fontlas tells the player that "All roads in Rapture lead to Ryan," then goes onto explain how because of the way the plasmids are made, the citizens of rapture can be controlled by pheremones in the air and that Ryan is doing just that (hence why all of the characters will attack you on sight beyond them just being "nutso") and there's an audio log in the back corner of the Farmers Market section of the Arcadia where in Ryan disuccses Suchong telling him about the ability to make the plasmids be able to be pheremone controllable and that though the idea bugs him, "In desperate times..." so Ryan has already enslaved the people of Rapture.

Then there's also:

The idea of the first thing you see being Ryan's looming visage in the lighthouse, bearing the banner "Nor Gods or Kings, Only Man." Except, he's got this gigantic private office in Hephaestus where he literally makes people wait like supplicants for his time, along with the only way to utterly destroy the city (which he built). The first half sounds like he's set himself up as Rapture's king, and the ability to not only build the city but then utterly destroy it instead of sticking it out good or bad, implies godhood. He's again brokedn his "tenets."

Edited by regglebum
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