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I Grok: The Dichotomy of Bioshock Infinite…

Kotaku has a great write-up on the two mismatched parts that is Bioshock Infinite:

BioShock Infinite is in many ways so, so close to being That Game, the one we can show to our non-gamer friends and say “See? Look at this! It is so awesome! Check out the story! It’s like LOST! How neat is this?” But it’s not That Game, because it’s so hilariously, egregiously violent that a large number of people will never give it a chance.

But that’s not all!

Cliff Bleszinski, creator of Gears of War, an incredibly violent game, commented on the violence in Bioshock Infinite over at his blog:

So, the guy that brought you a chainsaw gun would now like to get on his soap box about violence. Have fun judging me.

This is one of the few games that I’ve loved that I felt the violence actually detracted from the experience. The first time I dug my skyhook into someone I actually winced. I love shocking people in these games (it’s not called BioShootBeesAtThem) and I found that nearly every foe I zapped to death had their heads explode, Gallagher style. After the 400th head I was like “come on, already!”

Funny, right? That I’d say that? I know, it’s weird. Maybe it’s the fact that they did such a fantastic job of making this nuanced world that hitting you over the head with those moments felt out of place for me.

I find this all very interesting and in a lot of ways encouraging, as it proves to me at least, that our medium has grown, despite the thoughts of the recently departed Roger Ebert. From what I’ve heard, Bioshock Infinite is a pretty damn amazing tale in terms of narrative. Fans and journalists alike have commented how impressive the story is. In an era when single-player games are dwindling, it’s nice to see a triple-A title that solely offers a strong narrative experience. One can only hope that good sales follow.

What I’d like to see come from this whole thing are follow-ups from Levine and crew that have less of an emphasis on violence. So far we’ve largely seen such offerings from the Indie scene, where developers can focus more on niche markets or making the game they want to make.

I definitely want to play Bioshock Infinite. I’ve heard so many positive things about it. For so many to comment on the apparent schism of themes in Bioshock Infinite is telling, as it implies two things:

1. The medium of gaming has matured.

2. Gamers and what they desire in game experiences have also matured.

Those two points make me believe that the gaming medium has grown. If you’re going to say gaming isn’t art, well, you’re obviously an outsider who simply doesn’t understand.


About tyrus

I've got an unhealthy obsession with coffee and write shit no one cares about. Thank God I don't do this for a living!


  1. Great post, Ty, excellent points!

    Apparently, the feelings about the over-the-top violence for B:I are quite widespread.

    Our 360 copy arrived today, though I won’t be playing through it, I look forward to hearing about it from the boys.

  2. Thanks man! Coming from you, that’s some solid street cred as you’re an excellent blogger and writer. 😀 Yeah, I’m trying to stay spoiler free. Definitely want to play this game! Even the jaded Evil Avatar himself sang high praise for the game! Definitely look forward to it.

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