I write about movies all the time so a post about a video game shouldn't seem too far off. As I've mentioned before
, I absolutely adore a well told story. Most video games are too bang-bang to focus on a good story but there comes along one in a while which puts good fiction novels to shame. And since as a gamer, you get to be an interactive part of the story, it makes the experience unforgettable.
Take the case of Bioshock, a video game released last year. I've been playing it for a while (the hard part is just getting started; its impossible to put down) and it has completely sucked me in. Bioshock, in short, is about an underwater utopia gone horribly wrong. The protagonist is a mysterious figure by the name of Jack who survives a plane crash over the Atlantic and discovers an (erstwhile) underwater haven called Rapture. Conceptualized by the objectivist
Andrew Ryan, Rapture was intended as a self sufficient sanctuary comprising of the best and brightest individuals whose creativity/brilliance would not be held back by socio-political constraints.
I am Andrew Ryan and I am here to ask you a question:
Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own brow?
No, says the man in Washington. It belongs to the poor.
No, says the man in the Vatican. It belongs to God.
No, says the man in Moscow. It belongs to everyone.
I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something
different. I chose the impossible. I chose...
As Jack, the gamer gets to explore this world and piece together its history. Might I add, Rapture, itself, is hideously beautiful.
Being a game, of course, Bioshock has its fair share of enemies jumping at you left-right-and-center but what makes this game truly unique are two particular character types - called 'Big Daddy' and 'Little Sister'. Big Daddies are creatures who, due to being fitted inside irremovable metallic body armour, resemble enormous deep-sea divers; their only sole objective being to protect the Little Sisters. The Little Sisters are small (very cute looking frock-wearing) girls who wander about Rapture collecting genetic-enhancing bio-material (or something like that). Deeply twisted storyline, huh? Anyway, after defeating the hard-as-nails Big Daddies, the player has to choose between either freeing the little girl or killing her. And here is where comes morality into play. Does one go the righteous way or commit sin, thereby earning more points?
And that, in a gist, is Bioshock. Three cheers to game makers who treat their audience as mature and intelligent beings, and who have the creativity to envision such an unforgettable experience.