Bioshock reveals what happens when a society places greater emphasis on scientific progress and pleasure than on morals. The underwater city of Rapture is one man’s dream of a utopia, a “paradise” with no rules or limitations. The scientific advancements far surpass where we are at today, but the city and it’s inhabitants have slid into entropy and decay.
After your plane crashes over the mid-Atlantic, you swim to the only dry land you can find: the entrance to Rapture. As you make your way into the unique city, you come in contact with someone over your radio who supposedly can help you escape, but he wants you to rescue his family from this “god forsaken place” while you make your way to safety. Guided by this voice over the radio, “Now, would you kindly…”, you make your way from section to section of Rapture.
The hopelessly ruined city of Rapture, Andrew Ryan’s failed experiment, is the real star of the game. Advertisements are adorned to nearly every wall and space for some product that is guaranteed to make you bigger, faster, stronger, or sexier, even if it means reconstructing your DNA to do so. Hulking big daddies, giant robots in suits with a deadly drill for an arm and yellow, glowing eyes lumber throughout the decrepit hallways, ever protective guardians of the sinister little sisters. And various people with different philosophies and ideals are at constant war with each other.
Perhaps Bioshock’s greatest achievement is it forces you to think about real life, real-world dilemmas, and because of this the game seems more real. It’s almost like a philosophy class. You want to say that one person or idea is bad and should be stopped, but the more you think about it, the less black and white the situation becomes. Oh, and the game has the whole “a fish doesn’t know it’s in water” theme going as well. You don’t realize the forces in effect until it is dire-
ctly pointed out to you.
Bioshock creates a fantasy world, but it’s not a totally unfathomable existence. And that is why it should be considered a work of art. The game gets you to think about the world and the human race in different, but plausible ways. It’s a reflection of what could happen if we lose sight of morality.