A Look At The Crazy Quantum Mechanics In BioShock Infinite

A Look At The Crazy Quantum Mechanics In BioShock Infinite

Pay attention, there will be a quiz at the end. No but seriously though: check out this educational video by “outsidexbox”, which looks at quantum mechanics and how it relates to BioShock Infinite. Or in other words, the science behind stuff in BioShock Infinite (like floating cities, or multiple universes), along with a look at the real-life important figures that made the discoveries.

Not that the game presents wholly accurate science, of course — but that doesn’t mean the ideas don’t come from somewhere, or that they don’t resemble actual real-world ideas!

BioShock Infinite vs. Quantum Mechanics: The Real Science of BioShock Infinite (SPOILERS) [outsidexbox]


  • Love it, now anyone who has a cry about the game and not understanding simple real life theories on why the game is the way it is, can get at least a small glympes into the theory behind it.

  • I’ve never understood this ‘branching paths’ thing where if you flip a coin in one universe, a different outcome occurs in a different universe.

    Nothing is random – it’s all cause and effect – unless the universes started in a different way, I don’t see how in one universe I’m entering a reply on ‘Shmotaku’.

    Also, are there any recommended books on Quantum Physics that a layman can understand (like a pop-physics type thing?)

      • you are, of course, correct… i shouldn’t have used cause and effect in my reply (i know you arent replying to me…. my messages are still awaiting approval… hehe)

    • That’s one aspect of it I’ve never gotten either. I also did a couple of philosophy units at university, one essay I had to do on free will. I’m sure there’s more to it, but in my essay, with all I examined, I rationally had to conclude that hard determinism was correct. You were always going to make the same choice. Hence there would be no ‘branching paths’. Though hard determinism has its own consequences, like if we truly have no choice, than how can we be responsible for our own choices, implications on criminals and the law etc etc

      • But, see, that is the thing… You are making the choice with all of the knowledge that you have up to that point as a reference. Many worlds joins in by providing probability paths for each of your decisions in your internal decision tree, therefore allowing free will and determinism simultaneously.

        • No, he’s right. Probability is about prediction based on incomplete knowledge of all factors, it’s not a thing involved in MAKING a choice, more about guessing what choice someone will make.
          If you could know all factors at play when a person is making a choice (including the chemical composition of their brain at the time, local micro-atmospheric conditions etc, everything) you’d see that it wasn’t really a choice at all but a predetermined path.
          But that’s absolutely impossible of course, so we make do with probability.

    • “The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The first time I’ve understood it. I think!

    • It isn’t necessarily that cause and effect is not happening, it is that it is happening in a way that a cause will definitely produce every single potential effect, which is what causes the ‘branching out.’

      For you in the universe that you perceive to live in now, the cause and effect made it come out “heads” But, another you is living in a parallel universe now where cause and effect made it land as “tails.”

      I hope that helps a little bit… I can help you out more, if you’d like….


  • Bought 64Gb RT from JBHiFi in Perth Western Australia in February 2013.
    Unit failed with screen of death in April 2013.
    Took unit back to JbHiFi on advice of Microsoft.
    Told it will take 6- 8 weeks to get a repair and no loan tablets available.

    Greta tablet very bad service.

    Buy an Apple iPad

  • They say “branching” to simplify the theory. Think of it as two universes, which already existed, perfectly parallel to one another. These two universes would consist of the same everything until the flip of your coin. In one universe it’s heads, in the other it is tails. Now the two universes diverge in completely different directions there by “branching” out 🙂

  • Branching paths comes about under the assumption that the world is constructed out of probabilities, not absolutes. If a universes current state involves probability, but physical laws dictate that the future state given that probability is either 1 or the other, not a probability anymore – branching paths suggests that both outcomes occur, in separate universes.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!