Monday, June 10, 2013

On BioShock Infinite: The Self, The Shadow, The Other

I did an analysis of BioShock Infinite, the recent FPS-cum-art-game from Ken Levine at Irrational Games. It can be found over at Berfrois, an always-excellent repository of essays and criticism. If you've played the gaem, or you're curious and don't mind spoilers, go give it a read. A selection:
On a thematic level, BioShock Infinite‘s tropes may be well-worn – it taps into familiar material – but it does reconfigure and invigorate these tropes, delving deeper into them than a work of art has attempted in a long time. These motifs, as articulated by psychology and existentialism, are the Shadow and the Other. They’ve been used in video games forever, generally in the shallowest of ways, but in BioShock Infinite, they’re resuscitated and supercharged, and their primal power gives an uncanny intensity to those aforementioned emotional moments.

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