The Art of Video Games: Bioshock” Exhibition Video

  • Bioshock Footage courtesy of 2K Games, Inc, and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. This video is one of 80 displayed in The Art of Video Games exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

    ANDREW RYAN: “Man has a choice. I chose the impossible. I built a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality. I chose to build.. Rapture.”

    NARRATOR: “Bioshock” demonstrates the incredible power for narrative that video games have today. Creator Ken Levine took inspiration from the writings of Ayn Rand, and particularly her depictions of strong, principled heroes without flaws. In “Bioshock,” Levine wanted to imagine what would happen if the “hero” did have flaws, and was allowed to proceed uninhibited by conventional society.

    The story revolves around a dystopian, underwater city, founded by the idealistic businessman Andrew Ryan. Ryan wanted to create a world in which man and science would not be bound by law or ethics. Unrestricted genetic engineering ultimately resulted in a devastated world, filled with mutated humans and haunting memories.

    VIDEO GAME: “… hold on, and everything will be fine.”

    NARRATOR: Beautiful, isolated, cold and sad, “Bioshock” forces the player into uncomfortable situations, in which their decisions ultimately affect the outcome of the story.