Bioshock and Art  

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Here's another jab at Roger Ebert's claim that video games cannot be high art from the Games for Windows October 2007 issue.

Here's a game that serves as the perfect counterpoint to Roger Ebert's notorious assertion that games ain't art (if you care about such crap), and not just because Rapture really is a magnificent museum of the morbid, its fascinating tape-recorder diaries like discarded Alcatraz audio-tour headsets. Ebert hurdles to the "A" word, but BioShock's big message is that choice is largely an illusion. You think you're making decisions, but really, someone else is pulling the strings, whether it's a character quite pointedly planting thoughts in your brain or level designers directing you to the next important hallway.

"You are being manipulated," BioShock says, over and over again. Puppeteers hand out unassailable assignments, reservations (is Tenenbaum playing me now?) and ethical objections (did Sander Cohen just ask me to become a cold-blooded murderer?) be damned. Instead of asking "How would you like to do this?" BioShock asks, "How do you feel now that you've been forced to?" --and, on a few occasions, it gives you the opportunity to say a cathartic "f*** you" to the crazy postobjectionist monster who just played you. Then it grins and asks again, "Now how do you feel?" BioShock's greatest achievement is getting you to answer back

I haven't played the game yet myself because I'm afraid my system won't handle it, but I have been looking forward to it for some time. And now even more.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Email this post

5 comments: to “ Bioshock and Art


Design by Amanda @ Blogger Buster