BioShock Infinite distracts from its own message by resorting to violence
BioShock Infinite is not a game with a lot to say about violence; sure it's used as a tool to illustrate higher-concept issues like racism, religious zealotry, and equality, but on its own, violence simply isn't one of the central themes of the story and universe. Yet you might not know that, judging by the shotgun-toting Dudebro Dewitt on its cover, or the body-spattering game play, and that, Chris Plante argues in this wonderfully-written piece, is a failure on the part of Irrational Games.
This article isn't about whether violence in video games is good or bad, or what effect it has on the real world, but whether violence serves this very specific game, in this very specific context.
We've all endured countless discussions of whether video game violence causes real-world violence, but we very rarely explore violence in video games from an outsider's perspective, or outside that particular, argumentative framing. Violence in games doesn't need to be vilified, but it also doesn't need to excused, and I think Plante seeing this issue through his wife's eyes can help us all to see from a different perspective.
- Chris Plante