BioShock Infinite is full of messages, but creator Ken Levine is wary of political and supremacist groups taking offence to the game’s themes and seemingly politically-charged factions. The Irrational Games developer has discussed the matter in a new interview.
Speaking with PC Gamer, Levine discussed the nature of factions in BioShock Infinite – which sees the city of Columbia engaged in a civil war between the ruling classes and the Vox Populi movement. Both sides have bigoted, harsh beliefs, and Levin felt these views are being taken too seriously by real-life political and activist groups.
“Trust me, I get tweets… When I started working on this game, relatives of mine were very offended, because they thought it was an attack on the Tea Party. Specifically an attack on the Tea Party, which they were very active in.
“Then, when we sort of exposed the Vox Populi people, I saw a lot more left-leaning websites being like, ‘This is trying to tear down the labor movement!’ I remember that I saw postings, unfortunately, on a white supremacist website, Stormfront, where people literally said, ‘The Jew Ken Levine is making a white-person-killing simulator.’
“BioShock had the same thing, where you had Objectivists being infuriated by it, and people more on the left thinking that it was a love letter to Objectivism. I think these games are a bit of a Rorschach for people. It’s usually a negative Rorshach. It pisses them off, you know?
“But I’d way rather have that than to…These games are, to some degree… If they’re about anything they’re about not buying into a single point of view,” he elaborated. “About having a lack of confidence in anything. They’re not ever an attack on a single idea. It’s a bit of a plague on all your houses.”
Ouch. What do you make of BioShock Infinite’s messages of creed, class and race based on what you’ve seen so far. Are people drilling down too far to stir up controversy, or is there a plausible case for criticism? Let us know below.