Ken Levine’s Secret Notepad of BioShock Ideas

  • BioShock — A city under the ocean (not Atlantis) is populated by murderous psychopaths. Everyone here also has superpowers. A little girl and her dozen twin sisters wander around needing to be rescued. Andrew Ryan talks to you about why his city is so great. After you kill everyone in the city the moral of the story is that killing children is bad. (Chance to prove that videogames can have moral messages just like movies?) I think this game could give people a lot to think about, like how it’s dangerous to give everyone in a city inherently destructive superpowers.
  • BioShock Infinite–A city in the sky is populated by an evil Tea Party analog (to prevent moral ambiguity make sure their eyes burn and they roar like monsters so there’s no confusion over who the bad guys are).
 →  Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this post!

Creativity oozes from every pore of Bioshock 2

If you’ve been following Bioshock 2 at all you have probably seen the pics of the new Game Informer cover. Following the same logic that created Poochie the Dog (the animal hierarchy goes mouse, cat, dog…), the BS team has created the Big Sister. I could speculate about how creatively bankrupt the design seems but really it’s the least of the problems of Bioshock 2.

As far as I can tell, Bioshock 2 is an admission that games are not art, or at least that Bioshock was not art. Despite the short and underwhelming ending, the setting, atmosphere, plot twists and most importantly, ideology of Bioshock made it an amazing game. Announcing a sequel to a completed story arc indicates that the team is somewhat unaware of why their game was good (or that their publisher gave them clear orders). →  Reading more, assemble!

Murdering children does not grant you magical powers – More thoughts on good and evil in games

I started to write this as a postview of one of my favorite games, Beyond Good & Evil, when it occurred to me that there has been a lot of talk over here at videolamer recently about, well, good & evil. Shota seems annoyed both that so many games are overwhelmed by universe destroying, Pure Eeeevil, and also about the preponderance of good characters that restore our faith in the good ol’ dependable U.S. of A. and its various institutions. I largely agree with his frustrations, but this post is an attempt to complain and moan about the recent spate of games that ham-handedly try to explore good & evil within the plot and structure of the game: such as KOTOR, Fable, and Bioshock. Also, I’m going to propose a better way of doing it. →  It was the best of games, it was the worst of games

The Bioshock Occlusion


My PC is stout. A 3.2ghz Quad core, 8gb RAM, GeForce 7950 SLI (x2) beast with a raptor managing triple boot, 2tb of SATA storage and a 1000 watt PSU to keep the cheesy blue cathodes and 8 case fans humming wildly in PC mod rapture. I can run any game at any resolution (yes, even with the months old 7950s) at hundreds of FPS. It makes little girls cry, old men shit themselves and, if the moon is just right, can grab hold of the minds of all within a forty block radius and twist them to my devious desires.

So I guess it only makes sense then that I bought Bioshock for the 360.

I was given a choice, you see. The PC version was right there next to the xBox version on the special Bioshock end-cap at my local blue-shirt-crap-shack. →  Read, I am your father!