Ken Levine has explained a recent comment in which he said he’d altered BioShock: Infinite’s plot slightly after receiving feedback from a religious colleague.
When Levine mentioned the altered content in January, commenters were quick to condemn him for bowing to censorship and conservative pressure, despite his staunch refusal to make changes just to earn approval from religious parties.
Digging deeper into the matter while speaking with Gamespot, Levine explained that a strong reaction from a colleague helped him release that his writing, and understanding of the issues, needed to be tighter to communicate what he wanted – not that his essential messaging was changed.
“There was a scene in the game at the end where one of our artists got to a point in the game, played it, turned off BioShock, opened up his computer, opened Microsoft Word, and wrote a resignation letter, it had offended him so much,” he explained.
The incident caused Levine to return to his treatment of the character Comstock.
“It occurred to me that I had to figure out why people follow him. That was the key to his character. Why do people follow him? What does he provide to them?” Levine said.
“And I struggled with that for a long time because obviously an ecstatic religious experience is something that a religious leader provides but I don’t have a connection to as a writer. And it’s always hard when you’re trying to write something that you have never felt. And that would feel dishonest to me.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the final treatment is received both by religious and non-religious gamers when BioShock infinite arrives on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 26.
Thanks, PC Gamer.