BioShock Blog

Gaming Journal #1

This first blog is based more on just my initial impressions of the game from trailers and literature I’ve found online about it. I didn’t read spoilers about the gameplay itself, but rather just wanted some overall context about the game and the story.

I was interested to explore whether or not BioShock had any underlying social commentary/messages it was trying to present. It takes place in the 1960s – a decade with no shortage of social unrest and change. There are clear themes of technology and science fiction, however you have to look a little deeper to discover some of the social messages delivered through the characters and scene layouts. From what I read online and observed through the game’s introduction, there seems to be an overwhelming agreement that the game comments on the concepts of objectivism and communism within the Soviet Union.

The intro to the game displays a banner that reads “No Gods or Kings. Only Man.” This banner hangs in Rapture, a society created by Andrew Ryan that emphasizes objectivism and rejects communism. Theories online liken Andrew Ryan to Ayn Rand (their names are suspiciously similar) and explain that Ryan shares his ideologies about communism in Soviet Russia. Rapture was created to be a society in which the focus was on the individual and sacrifices were not made on society’s behalf to hold everyone up.

This background information has made me more excited to play the game and I am interested to see if I agree with that perspective on what the game might be trying to say. I hope to be able to uncover clues that either support this interpretation or reveal a different message.