🔥🔥🔥 Bioshock Rapture Analysis

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Bioshock Rapture Analysis



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The Rise \u0026 Fall Of Rapture - Bioshock Lore

These same tensions are found throughout Rapture and its residents, as we will see. Blues, Twentieth-century blues, they're gettin' me down. Blues, escape those weary twentieth-century blues. Why, if there's a god in the sky, why shouldn't he grin High above this dreary twentieth-century din? In this strange illusion, chaos and confusion, People seem to lose their way. What is there to strive for, love or keep alive for?

Say hey hey, call it a day. Blues, nothing to win or to lose, it's getting me down. Why is it that civilized humanity can make this world so wrong? In this hurly-burly of insanity, our dreams cannot last long. We've reached a deadline, a press headline, every sorrow; Blues value is news value tomorrow. Though the lyrics, if not the tone, of "Twentieth-Century Blues" address Rapture's collapse in a fairly direct fashion, most songs in Bioshock function instead jar the player by deliberately running counter to the action.

This tune, with its lush orchestration and determinedly domestic lyrics, epitomizes the candy-coated veneer of normalcy that surrounded the internal anxieties of postwar American culture. It reeks of consumerism, reminding us that the atomic-family ideal was a construction designed to separate American society from both the barbarities of the war and the perceived threat of communism. As May , p. American leaders promoted the American way of life as the triumph of capitalism, allegedly available to all who believed in its values. Significantly, in Bioshock " How Much is That Doggie in the Window" emerges from a jukebox as the player explores Fort Frolic, a shopping and entertainment district that is basically Rapture's equivalent of a suburban shopping mall.

Shops purveying the latest in fashionable clothes or gadgets designed to make life simpler lay in ruins, the formerly vibrant area now filled only with smashed storefronts and wandering lunatics. The remainder of the songs seem no less out of place in Rapture's desolate hallways, and continue to comment on its dystopia in highly ironic fashion.

The irony inherent in these optimistic songs effectively underscores not only the literal destruction of Rapture, but also the gradual erosion and eventual collapse of the ideological framework that created the city. When skies are cloudy and grey, They're only grey for a day, So wrap your troubles in dreams And dream your troubles away. Until that sunshine peeps through There's only one thing to do, Just wrap your troubles in dreams And dream all your troubles away. Your castles may tumble that's fate after all Life's really funny that way.

No use to grumble, smile as they fall; Weren't you king for a day? Just remember that sunshine Always follows the rain, So wrap your troubles in dreams And dream your troubles away. The songs we have examined thus far contribute greatly to establishing the dystopian atmosphere of Bioshock , but they function by and large as popular music does in the recent Grand Theft Auto and Fallout games, despite the lack of player input into the song selection.

They are tied less to a specific event in the game's narrative than to a general sense of its environment, although some-like " How Much is That Doggie in the Window"--seem more relevant to some areas of the sunken city more than others. A number of the popular songs featured in Bioshock , however, also function on another level. While still serving as ironic foils for the general environment, they are able also to comment in a meaningful way on the narrative events that occur while they are heard in the game. Each of these three possibilities exists to some extent in Bioshock , although we may focus on the third point. A fairly straightforward example occurs near the end of the game, when players finally make their way to Olympus Heights, the wealthiest part of Rapture--a den of luxury that literally overlooks the rest of the city.

Almost immediately upon entering the area, we hear Cole Porter's "You're the Top," a clear allusion to both the geographical and socio-cultural height of this portion of the city. But other songs are clearly more complex in their significations. Fairly near the beginning of Bioshock , players encounter their first seriously challenging "boss": Dr. Steinman, a plastic surgeon whose obsession with physical perfection has gradually transformed him into a psychopath bent on becoming the "Picasso of surgery," a goal every bit as horrifying as it sounds. After players "dispose" of the good doctor, the voice of Atlas-your Virgil-like guide through the hellish Rapture-offers his congratulations: "It's about time somebody took care of that bastard! The lyrics of this love song seem highly inappropriate to the current situation, but the title slyly suggests that only "you" i.

Other such references abound in Bioshock. Near the end of the game, the protagonist encounters a seemingly insurmountable barrier. He is instructed that he must construct a bomb that will short circuit the main power center of Rapture-described as the "core" or "heart" of the city-despite the considerable danger such an act poses to the already unstable Rapture. In this case. If it seems that I am reading too much into the musical selections of Bioshock , other examples of musical commentary are less ambiguous. Near the beginning of the game, the player enters the Kashmir Restaurant accompanied by the ironically optimistic song "If I Didn't Care" , still set up for a New Year's Party.

Shortly after leaving the Kashmir, Jack unexpectedly witnesses the brutal killing of a rapture citizen, and glimpses for the first time a major antagonist. Most literally, the song's title slyly refers to the New Year's Eve party at the restaurant, the beginning of the end for Andrew Ryan's undersea paradise. This style of title-based musical "pun" evokes the silent-film era practices of cinema pianists, who could quickly choose tunes with titles that corresponded at least tangentially with the action on screen-something that carried over into the sound era, particularly in the animated shorts scored by figures like Carl Stalling see Goldmark , Ch.

This musical pun functions on deeper levels, as well. As the player gradually begins to understand, that night the Kashmir Restaurant was the site of a workers' rebellion, quickly leading to the economic crash and civil war that ultimately destroyed the city; Jack and the player, then, inhabit an environment that came about immediately "after the party. Other songs follow this same path, providing context for and commenting on the game's narrative.

This tune was an anthem for the disaffected American working class-Ruhlmann , p. These sentiments were no doubt shared by those left behind by the unforgiving free-market policies of Rapture, their dreams of prosperity and a new life ending in the squalor of a boarding house. While this song would function in an atmospheric way nearly anywhere in Bioshock , its placement in the Home for the Poor is particularly effective and contributes to an understanding of Rapture's political situation in a semi-narrative fashion. By virtue of its association with the Great Depression, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" eloquently reveals the increasing tensions between the wealthy elite and the disenfranchised workers in an almost subconscious fashion.

We also learn in the course of Bioshock that this Home for the Poor was prime recruiting ground for the workers' rebellion, coloring the song in a more threatening fashion. The lyrics describe FDR's "forgotten man," abandoned by the society he helped build. As Furia , pp. The song then concludes with an "aggressive edge, capped in the last line when 'brother' is suddenly replaced by the military-and militant-'Buddy, can you spare a dime? The song presumably functioned in the Home for the Poor as a subtle or perhaps not so subtle call to arms; in the action of Bioshock it comments on what has already transpired.

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job. They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead, Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread? Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time. Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime? Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime; Once I built a tower, now it's done.

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell, Full of that Yankee Doodle-de-dum, Half a million boots went slogging through Hell, And I was the kid with the drum! Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time. Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal! Buddy, can you spare a dime? Let me close this section with a final and I believe particularly sophisticated example.

One of the most disturbing aspects of Rapture is the presence of the "Little Sisters," young girls who have been brainwashed and genetically modified. Jack requires access to resources that these Little Sisters hoard, and the player must choose how he deals with them: they can be "rescued," proving fewer short-term benefits and fewer guilt pangs , or "harvest" their resources, which results in greater immediate gains, but also in the death of the Little Sister.

At a certain point in the game, Jack must defeat one of the guardians that surround these Little Sisters and make a choice about rescuing the girl. The battle is a difficult one; players must make use of all the resources at their disposal to be successful, and it will likely take a significant amount of time. Underscoring this rather epic scene, sneaking quietly in amid the clamor of bullets and explosions, is the Billie Holiday song "God Bless the Child. The combination of this scene with the player's subsequent decision regarding the fate of the Little Sister makes this choice inspired.

The title to the song seems to be the most important element here, although I suppose one could make a case for reading the self-sufficiency lauded in the lyrics as a commentary on Rapture's economic policies, or on the recurring theme of dysfunctional family relationships in Bioshock which I will avoid discussing here, not least to avoid ruining a plot twist. The recurring line "God Bless the Child," always just high enough and loud enough to be heard over any sound effects, seems to speak directly to the player, emphasizing the ethical dilemma and making it more difficult to disassociate from the game. Whether a player chooses to rescue the Little Sister or not, "God Bless the Child" continues to play on the radio until the song is complete.

If the player saves the girl, the song appears to comment on that action directly-even thankfully, a bit like "It Had to be You. In either case, the unseen DJ of Rapture or the city itself? The trick here is that unlike in cinema, the player maintains an element of agency, but "God Bless the Child" gives the illusion of being tailored to the player's choice. Because the music begins during the combat before the actual moment of decision regarding the Little Sister takes place but likely not before players have made up their mind , the music even implies a degree of narrative cueing typically impossible in video games. It appears as if the music were dramatically anticipating a predetermined conclusion, as if in a film, yet the actions seem anything but linear to the player, who maintains a sense of personal choice.

This scenario is unsustainable for very long-few scenarios or songs lend themselves so readily to this treatment-and yet for a moment Bioshock seems to reach the "interactive cinema" ideal. The deck seems stacked against the use of popular music as a narrative element of video games, at least outside of non-interactive cutscenes. The technical limitations present one difficulty, since popular songs are much less flexible than newly composed music can be.

But another obstacle comes from the licensing process itself. Tessler , p. Even when money is less of a concern, as in the film American Graffiti , which popularized the use of popular music as a narrative soundtrack element, the song choice was evidently flexible; George Lucas quoted in Smith, , p. You'd put a song down on one scene, and you'd find all kinds of parallels. And you could take another song and put it down there, and it would still seem as if the song had been written for that scene. Despite a certain "substitutable" quality to the popular-music soundtrack, as a final product Bioshock uses licensed tunes to create both a palpable sense of irony in its atmosphere-one of the game's most-praised aspects-and a complex web of intertextual references, involving musical "puns" based on song titles and lyrics both heard and unheard.

As such, the game offers a glimpse into the possibilities of including popular music primarily as an atmospheric and narrative element of games, rather than as an example of market synergy or a way to ensnare the crucial youth market. Not surprisingly, the licensed music in Bioshock has been a major feature of the game for both critics and players alike. Many gamers, in fact, found the music to be one of the most memorable aspects of their experience, in particular the intense irony. On the well-known gaming website gamefaqs. The ironic quality of the popular music allows it to create and maintain the dystopian atmosphere that permeates Bioshock. The juxtaposition of midcentury aesthetic ideals, given voice through the period music, with the visual evidence of the corruption and collapse of those ideals taken to their ultimate extreme, provides a powerful experience for gamers.

Ultimately, Bioshock 's success and influence suggest a new, more cinematic, approach to the incorporation of popular music into interactive media. The game's popularity led to it being released on the Sony PlayStation 3 and the PC, as well; these later versions, however, do not differ significantly in terms of the music or gameplay, although a few additional licensed songs were added during loading screens and the like. This game is a beacon. It's one of those monumental experiences you'll never forget, and the benchmark against which games for years to come will, and indeed must, be measured.

For an overview of Objectivism, see Leonard Peikoff We wanted the gameplay experience to feel like a summer blockbuster where you, the gamer, are the start. A number of scholars have drawn significant distinctions between the concepts of "immersion" and "presence," despite the frequent use of the terms as synonyms. Nifong used the public press of this case to attempt to further his career and only presented evidence that was beneficial to his agenda. This is an example of criminal mind because he went against ethical morals. Another conclusion that can be seen about criminals is that they are liars. For example, Nifong withheld the DNA tests to his advantage. Iago uses Roderigo to his advantage making him his henchman and also for personal gains such as money.

To conclude, this quote exemplifies the true colours of the malicious villain Iago. Comparatively, again demonstrates this life lesson to beware of later in act…. Deviancy is a common theme in outsider type characters, and they are the people who do not fit with societies norms. They deviate from ideals and are the sort of people we should not strive to be. Dexter is a criminal, and that is made clear as he murders people and uses his job position to help make this dissapear. This is clearly wrong and although the audience knows this, they are given another piece of information that challenges this idea of right and wrong.

From a young age, Dexter has…. One may consider Iago to be a complex character; however, his character is one of simplicity. While they can all be demonstrated individually, Iago demonstrates how they are in fact intertwined and incite one another. Surprisingly Iago gave several depictions as to why he is what he is; however, the confusion to his character still is a mystery and controversy today. In creating a separate persona, the audience is able to establish Verbal as a conniving and manipulative man.

He is immensely corrupted by the very essence of evil, and embraces the immorality with open arms. Verbal explains his alter-ego as a man to be feared, thus insinuating that he values himself as powerful and mighty as a god. He believes individuals in positions of authority to be naive and arrogant, and uses these weaknesses to his advantage as he practically taunts the detective interrogating him. By utilizing fear as a weapon, Verbal demonstrates his hidden intelligence, while also distracting detective Dave Kujan from discovering his guilt.

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