Political Themes in BioShock Infinite Mirror OWS, Tea Party

October 28, 2011 -

Irrational Games’ creative director Ken Levine spoke to the Washington Post recently about the political themes behind the game and how the two opposing factions in the game share similarities with real-world movements including Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. While there are similarities it should be noted that these groups didn't exist when Levine and company started working on the third BioShock title.

In BioShock Infinite a fight has erupted between two factions: the Founders and the group Vox Populi. Levine claims that the Vox Populi is based loosely on the Baader-Meinhof Group, a left-leaning German student movement that devolved into extremism in the mid-1970s to become the RAF (Red Army Faction).

“I initially based the Vox Populi on this German student movement, the Baader-Meinhof Group. I’ve been looking at how people evolve into extremism: They start in a peaceful, understandable place and end up somewhere very different,” said Levine.

“What’s really interesting, what’s most interesting to me, is how the movements reflect movements that have come before. That’s either reassuring or concerning when you look at what’s going on now. Some of those movements, dating back to the French Revolution, have had similar complaints to what Occupy Wall Street has. It’s interesting to watch how they evolve. They tend to reflect each other, and for the game you can look at what’s happening in real time, but you really see what could be happening in the future by looking at history.”

Levine notes that some of the problems the Occupy Wall Street protesters are facing are similar to the core problems with Vox Populi. The main problem, he says, is messaging:

“I’ve been spending a lot of time watching Occupy Wall Street. The complaint is that they don’t have a consistent message. You can watch that, and this is a challenge I’ve had writing [the Vox Populi]. Leftist movements are always less organized. There’s a messaging machine on the right, where they’ll come up with something and the next day you have 10, 20 people out on the news using those points,” he explained.

“Leftist groups tend not to like authority; nobody in them tends to listen to it. So Occupy Wall Street has been helping me because I’ve been struggling to figure out how the Vox Populi get to the point in the demo. Throughout the game, you’re actually watching them — you see in the beginning of the game that they’re a dead movement and a movement that really fails, and it picks up steam based upon your actions.”

Levine says that he prefers the gray areas between the two ideologies in the game.

“So I start [Vox Populi leader] Daisy Fitzroy and [Founder leader] Comstock on opposite ends of the spectrum. Maybe that’s what the study of these movements is: The movement becomes about the ideology and not about reality. The reality starts to change, and it becomes that people would rather give up reality than ideology.”

“From where I sit, people think it has to be one or the other and there’s no middle ground. Personally, that tends to scare me,” he continued. “What’s the point of having something that’s about people shutting down ideologically, intellectually? People are using these movements to pose questions. If you look at Occupy Wall Street, it’s opened up dialogue, and you can say the same about the tea party. Hopefully, they don’t become extensions of parties, they will open up the conversation.”

Source: IndustryGamers


Comments

Re: Political Themes in BioShock Infinite Mirror OWS, Tea Party

Founders > Vox Populi. Definitely.

 
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benohawkThe simplest way is to look at what he's said in total, as mentioned before, he's come out against harassment, and that his past behavior suggests that he's very much in it for Ethics and not to try and drive women out of the industry08/03/2015 - 10:03pm
DocMelonheadBecause that is the exact same nutpicking that made GamerGate infamous in the first place.08/03/2015 - 10:02pm
DocMelonheadAnd even if they didn't spread misinformation on Feminist, there's someone out there that does. So with that in mind, it's best to educate people on feminism and critical thinking instead on relying on blog posts and storify on such things.08/03/2015 - 10:01pm
DocMelonheadHell, the same could be said about MundaneMatt, ThunderFoot, or IA/MM/Jim: they're all Angry Jack because of fucking denial. I get that you Despise them for what they did to Anita Sarkeesian, but Calling them demons isn't going to solve anything.08/03/2015 - 9:58pm
DocMelonheadTotal Biscuit is more like Angry Jack than a complete bigot. What he did is bad, but he's beyond someone that constantly harass others.08/03/2015 - 9:55pm
DocMelonheadA moron, not a bigot, a moron in regards to women studies. That is why he brought on to the whole SJW BS; haven't you watch the entire Angry Jack series yet?08/03/2015 - 9:53pm
IronPatriotIf you can't prove that TotalLYINGSACKOFbiscuit was only parroting lies against victims of Gamergate harassment, then what do you think of him?08/03/2015 - 9:46pm
IronPatriotSo prove that TotalLYINGSACKOFbiscuit was not also making up lies, since you stated that as a fact.08/03/2015 - 9:45pm
IronPatriotIt's would only be bad if TotalLYINGSACKOFBiscuit was making up lies?08/03/2015 - 9:44pm
DocMelonheadAlso yes, because he DIDN'T make them up: in fact, that more or less make him a moron that fell for their guise than a bigot that actively harass minorities online.08/03/2015 - 9:43pm
IronPatriotSo it's better to 'parrot" lies about victims of harassment?08/03/2015 - 9:43pm
DocMelonheadIP: 4chan no longer support GamerGate, they outright banned it. Besides, Total Biscuit parroted said lies, not making them up.08/03/2015 - 9:40pm
IronPatriotSo supporting a 4chan cult of harrassment by spreading LIES about thier victims makes him a "good" person? LOL08/03/2015 - 9:36pm
IronPatriotLOL! DocMelon admits that TotalLYINGBiscuit , "spread misinformation about the victims of Gamergate Harassment: And that's bad. But It's not worth calling him out as a horrible person because of those lies that he helps spread." LOL!08/03/2015 - 9:35pm
MattsworknameFrom rares golden days they come, thse clasics of old. Plus, the battletoads arcade game08/03/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenI am a big Rare fan though. Many of its games are some of my absolute favorites.08/03/2015 - 8:09pm
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats fair enough, most of the games on it are games i've not played in long times, and some are games I never heard of , so I want it, but, in some cases, its may not appeal, and I can understand that08/03/2015 - 7:56pm
Andrew EisenAs for Rare Replay, I wouldn't get it even if I owned an Xbox One because I already own or have played all the Rare games that interest me.08/03/2015 - 7:54pm
Andrew EisenSounds like the packs the Ghostbusters were wearing during their hospital visit the other day were just early prototypes, not evidence of multiple packs in the film. Maybe they couldn't get the actual props off the set?08/03/2015 - 7:45pm
benohawkI won't be getting it soon since I don't have an xbone, but it's getting me to put serious thought to picking one up08/03/2015 - 7:37pm
 

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