Bioshock Infinite is a Metacommentary on the Nature of Video Game Storytelling

Bioshock Infinite is a Metacommentary on the Nature of Video Game Storytelling

KEVIN JAMES WONG

I’m going to spoil a lot of Bioshock Infinite for all of you, so beware this blog post if you’re planning on playing this game. 

Bioshock Infinite is a game about a lot of things.

Religious zealotry, American Exceptionalism, theories of space-time and interdimensionality, patriotic jingoism, the inevitability of economic disparity, Occupy Wall Street, colonialism, and problems faced by political radicalism. While few of these plot threads arrive at a productive conclusion, it piques interest, causes uncanny discomfort, and provokes conversation and interpretation within its colorful fan community.

However, my view on the meaning of Bioshock Infinite, which has conflicted with the interpretations of the many friends that I have discussed the game with, involves a subtle level of self-reflexivity that I saw pervading the game’s entirety. Bioshock Infinite is about the nature of narrative in games and the conflicts between emergent and fixed narrative, returning to the conflicts between…

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