Why BioShock Infinite’s Creator Won’t Settle for Success

For Irrational Games cofounder Ken Levine, BioShock Infinite isn’t just a reinvention of his popular videogame—it’s an attempt to prove that videogames can make an enduring cultural impact.
  1. In 2007, Irrational Games released BioShock, a videogame that took the first-person perspective and remorseless slaughter of blockbusters like Halo and Call of Duty and set fire to the medium’s narrative conventions and audience expectations. The result may have been gaming’s first work of art. As protagonist Jack, the player explored a city called Rapture, an undersea metropolis built in the 1940s. The game actually took place in 1960, by which time Rapture’s gorgeous Art Deco architecture had become dilapidated and the residents feral.

    BioShock teemed with monsters out of Jules Verne’s nightmares. Giant creatures called Big Daddies lumbered around in archaic diving suits with spherical helmets, emitting unintelligible whalelike moans and skewering players with enormous drills while their doll-like child companions, the Little Sisters, harvested genetic material from the corpses. The player, using cryptic audio recordings and graffiti, could gradually piece together Rap...

The complete text of “Why BioShock Infinite’s Creator Won’t Settle for Success” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.wired.com.

Originally published in Wired, December 2012

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