"What is Columbia if not another Ark, for another time?"

22 Jun 2013

Ben Kuchera for the PA Report:

This is a game about relationships, and how everything we do affects everyone around us. It’s about how trying to do the right thing can be as monstrous as starting with ill intentions. It’s about how we can hate those we love, and love those we hate.

Video-games have fallen off my plate lately – we can blame Ulysses and The Human Condition I suppose – but I made an exception during the release week of Bioshock Infinite. There are many thoughts that have been tumbling around my notebooks about this game, though I may not get around to turning those into coherence. While Ben’s thoughts are decidedly less philosophical than mine would be, he also points his readers towards an article by Mytheos Holt for The Blaze that examines some of the more interesting political concerns about the game:

Is Bioshock Infinite anti-Tea Party? No. If anything, given that it takes place in 1912, it’s much more an attack on the sort of jingoistic sentiments that motivated Americans at the turn of the 20th century, and that caused writers such as Sinclair Lewis to openly fret about America itself going fascist.

Ignore the fact that it was written for Glenn Beck’s website and most definitely ignore the comments section. If you manage to do both of those, you will find that that Mytheos has crafted a thoughtful exploration of the populist libertarianism current that runs through the narrative of Bioshock Infinite.1 Personally, I am more impressed that video-games are starting these kinds of conversations in mainstream discussions.

It is about time.

  1. Then again, apparently “Mytheos Holt is a tit”. What do I know?