How BioShock Infinite Is Influenced By Occupy Wall Street

How BioShock Infinite Is Influenced By Occupy Wall Street

While BioShock Infinite is due for release next year, the game’s story still is undergoing change, says the series’ creator Ken Levine. And if nothing else, the Occupy Wall Street protests going on in New York (and elsewhere) serve as an affirmation to him in how he’s scripted the motivations and temperament of the Vox Populi movement in Infinite‘s airborne dystopia of Columbia.

“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,” Levine told The Washington Post referring to the demo shown at E3. “I’ve been spending a lot of time watching Occupy Wall Street. The complaint is that they don’t have a consistent message. It’s been interesting to reflect upon the movement’s message, watching it crystallise.”

Levine understands the charged atmosphere; he made BioShock after all, which became either a pamphlet for Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism or a stark condemnation of it, depending on whom you talked to. “The games tend to be a Rorschach for people, and I’ve heard both sides of reaction. I had the displeasure of going to a white supremacist site that made a point of saying [BioShock Infinite]this game by “the Jew” Ken Levine was about killing white people,” Levine said. “Then I went to this leftist site that said this is about discrediting leftists movements. Games, as I said, are a Rorschach, and I don’t want to be making games that are expressing a political or philosophical view.”

Paraphrasing the old adage, if you’re pissing off both sides, you must be doing something right.

The tea party, Occupy Wall Street and ‘BioShock Infinite’: How a video game is reflecting life [The Washington Post via Gamasutra.]


  • Next month is going to be crazily awesome for gaming, but this article reminds me of the greatness on the 2012 horizon. Saying I can’t wait for Infinite is an understatement.

        • Not when they’re not actually protesting anything. ‘Capitalism’ is so incredibly vague.
          Go and ask 100 of the protesters what they’re protesting. Chances are you’ll get 100 different answers. No one knows why they’re there, other than ‘other people are protesting and I thought I’d join in’

          • I find it kind of refreshing, here I thought I was the only one dissapointed in our capitalocracies and suddenly I discover I’m not the only one. Truth is, if you went to most protests they’d have a range of reasons why they personally were there and all that really says is there are many reasons for them to be doing so. I believe the one recurrent theme would be that there was something very wrong with the world as it is and that they’re pushing for social change. That has happened throughout history, and likely will continue to do so for as long as humanity does.

        • Sure they have the right to protest, but it doesn’t automatically validate their cause especially when the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon is a a uniquely American thing. We don’t have the rampant deregulation they have over there, or the top-down control of educational institutions, or the absolutely obscene corporate fat-cat salaries.

          The people who are ‘Occupying Sydney/Melbourne’ are all upper middle class hipsters or students who were looking for something topical to protest, regardless of legitimacy. I would know, because I recognised several of them from the Free Assange protest (which I did participate in) last year.

  • Ahh, so true, Ken, so true…

    -but no, seriously; my side was right. Bioshocks was definitely an attack on Rand. PLAY YOUR DAMN GAME KEN! PLAY YOUR DAMN GAME!

    …just kidding.

    -but not. Objectivism is vile. The triumph of human civilisation is every rat for himself… brilliant Ayn.

  • The next Bioshock will be set in Melbourne. Players will take on the role of Andrew Bolt and have to fight off left wing nutters with what they fear most… soap and a bucket of water.

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