Special Bioshock Infinite Dinnercast!

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This Show Also Known As: The Show Where People Talk About Oysters For FOREVER.

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After we spend too much time talking about getting food we do EVENTUALLY get to Bioshock Infinite (starring Dave, Joel, Graz, and Ajay!)

Obviously there are HELLA SPOILERS in this.

Music Selection:┬áSay That You’ll Never-Never-Never Need It.

This show is about:

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They Do.

6 thoughts on “Special Bioshock Infinite Dinnercast!

  1. Regarding some of the things you guys brought up, I guess I just don’t analyze to quite the extent you were doing, such as asking why vigors would be available to the public. I don’t know, though you might also wonder why guns are available to anyone who wants one. The answer might be that the government is in no danger from the public. But that’s a side note.

    One thing that really piqued by interest was the sort of political discussion about revolutions and counter-revolutions that got brought up. I understand Ajay’s feeling about the way the Vox Populi were portrayed in the game, and the sudden role reversal from hero to villain for Daisy Fitzroy was jarring and disappointing, not to mention the political quandaries it raised about revolution, class warfare, what means are justifiable in the struggle against oppression, etc. But I was a bit discomfited at his semi-Marxist sentiment of “whatever furthers the class struggle is allowable.” I remember reading an interview with Michel Foucault, who was apparently an avowed Marxist, and his view, drawing from Marx no doubt, was that any means the proletariat undertook to achieve their end was justifiable, and not in terms of whether or not their victory would lead to universally better conditions, but simply because they deserved to wield power over their oppressors, no matter how bloody the consequences. And this seems prima facie unacceptable to me, anyway.

    The discussion about how the game reduced everything to personal morality also was interesting, though I’m not quite sure what you guys meant. Do you mean it’s allowable to sort of merge your personal conscience with the social body, so means you would not personally accept using, would be justifiable, if you blur your personal responsibility with that of the “collective”? I think you were trying to justify what Daisy was doing as part of a justifiable class struggle, and were frustrated that Booker, and the game developers, wanted you to focus on each individual act of the characters, and wouldn’t allow them to fob off responsibility onto “the cause” or whatever they were supposedly acting for. And I actually find the developers’ point of view more sympathetic here. An act might be justifiable, but eventually you’ll have to take responsibility for it, because all acts are individual choices, or must be embraced as such, no matter what external factors were in play. That seemed to be their point, and it seems an admirable one to me.

    As to the violence, well, unless you guys’ tastes have changed immensely (and for the worse, might I add) I suppose you still have fond memories of the original Gears of War, where you chainsaw Locust practically in half? Or any zombie shoot em-up with exploding body parts aplenty? Didn’t anyone get any kind of rush when you jam that hook into someone’s chest and launch them twenty feet through the air, or am I just juvenile? Or maybe I should take the mechanics of violence more seriously in video games. Actually I do, and I found that one of the games that seemed to question violence most effectively was Dark Souls. You can kill any NPC in the game, but you aren’t allowed to feel good about it, and even the fight with Sif, the wolf, is very discomfiting, since you’re basically forced to kill a limping, pathetic oversized dog.

    Sorry about the long comment, but I very much enjoyed the podcast, and thought you brought up some interesting points. Perhaps the overall thrust of the game was to create a disturbing, nightmarish atmosphere, which it actually did very effectively, despite most action taking place in bright colorful environments, which might have heightened the dissonance. The constant violence is a reminder of what you can’t escape, which is yourself, I suppose. And I do wish the ending wouldn’t have been so bleak. There has to be a better point than, “the only way to fix the past is for it never to have happened.” In fact that seems to be contradicting the idea that Booker became Comstock because he refused to acknowledge his past, and sought to become a god, instead of taking responsibility for his sins. Then what good is trying to erase the past, if it’s exactly the refusal to take responsibility that always leads to ruin? I have to agree with Joel, they’ve got a somewhat confused worldview, but it’s one of those ambitious half-”failures” that’s better than the ones that don’t even try.

    • Actually I also wanted to clarify, about Marx, I don’t want to sound like a strident conservative on that point, because I’m actually the exact reverse, I’m profoundly liberal, more than most people would be comfortable with in fact. And I actually think Marx was one of the most profound thinkers on economic theory, at least what I know of him anyway, and the heritage of post-colonial theory is very appealing as well. I know a bit of Franz Fanon, and overall I agree far more with the “leftist” view of history. Howard Zinn is another favorite, if you’ve heard of him. My point was that I think the developers actually have a pretty profound point about personal responsibility, and really, if you had allowed Daisy to simply kill a boy in her bloodlust, how could the player have justified that? You’d have to coarsen yourself pretty thoroughly to just take that in stride. It’s just a momentary flash of insight on their part, but the mechanics of playing a game from the first person, or simply playing as a character with control over the world, force you to take responsibility and face what’s really happening.

  2. To the bit of letting anyone have access to Vigors and all those crazy weapons: Back in those days they did not really have the restrictions on that sort of stuff. The Tommy Gun was invented in 1912, and you could buy them at corner drug stores. It was eventually that they grew wise that was not such a good idea, but thats after the mafia did all their shenanigans. I will however agree that if they were available for everyone, why there weren’t just regular folk grabing guns or vigors to fight you.

  3. As usual, I can jive with Dave’s and Joel’s enjoyment of media while being able to analyze it. Analyzing it should not replace the ability to enjoy it. I can understand that someone’s enjoyment of interactive media can be neutralized by only watching someone else play, especially when the entire game is first-person, but it still ought to be evaluated as a piece of interactive media. Evaluating Bioshock Inifinite as though it were a novel, film, silent film, cave painting, musical, or interpretive dance leads to an inherently flawed evaluation. The fact that a game may be the first game to cover concepts, themes, tropes, etc. that have been covered in other media should not be disvalued for failing to achieve all the things achieved in other media. It’s fine to compare works of different media, but the value of these comparisons is subjective and are often applied unfairly.
    TLDR Evaluate a game like a game, because it’s not a book.

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