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1 Targetpractice  Thu, May 30, 2013 9:21:39pm

See, the thing to take into consideration is the Vox uprising bears more resemblance to revolutions that came around the same period, such as the Russian Revolution five years later. The Vox aren’t loyal colonists who are chaffing under burdensome taxation and a disconnected government, they’re workers who are being kept down and exploited by the rich elite who label them as “inferior” for the most petty of reasons, whether it be race, creed, or nationality. Throughout history, worker uprisings have tended to result in lots of bloodshed, the rich elite being drug into the streets and shot, and the old power structure (to quote Daisy Fitzroy) “ripped up by the roots.”

And by the third timeline, when you’ve got Slate’s men serving as manpower in the revolution, then you’re also mixing in the ranks of disgruntled soldiers, angry over what they view as Comstock taking credit for the blood that they’d shed in Peking and at Wounded Knee. So there’s a lot of resentment and anger that’s fueling this revolution, but very little in the way of enlightened ideals or legitimate gripes. This isn’t a revolution meant to bring about a new government where equality and representation are the law, it’s the wronged dealing out what they consider is justice towards those who wronged them.

2 The Ghost of a Flea  Thu, May 30, 2013 9:35:08pm

So…Columbia in 1912 is like the South in the 1960s?

[Sorry.]

As to the issue of “proper” revolution…I hate to put it this way, generally by the time revolution becomes a cohesive force for overturning a government, it’s way past when folks who are already traumatized (and sometimes were born into a world of ongoing traumas) are going to be able to rebel but not misrule. Part and parcel of this is that individual rebels are rarely formed by deep intellectual appreciation of politics, government, or morality. Be they guerillas or local militia, they’re usually motivating by wanting to stop being hurt and/or do some retaliatory harm. And even the ones that have cohesive ideas about what comes next end up butting heads with those of differing views. When the fighting’s done, there’s a whole other scramble that begins because most folks have no vision of what comes after.

The American Revolution is unusual for a bunch of reasons…and I don’t want to sound snarky, but…one of them is that the people rebelling hadn’t really had the boots taken to them compared to, say, what the British did to their Irish subjects or their non-white colonial subjects. Even the “rebels” initially viewed their actions as protest rather than revolt. They hadn’t been deprived of wealth, education, and opportunity for generations. They hadn’t been subject to arbitrary violence and/or sexual exploitation. They hadn’t been instilled with an ideology that marked them as lesser and undeserving.

3 jamesfirecat  Thu, May 30, 2013 9:36:17pm

re: #1 Targetpractice

See, the thing to take into consideration is the Vox uprising bears more resemblance to revolutions that came around the same period, such as the Russian Revolution five years later. The Vox aren’t loyal colonists who are chaffing under burdensome taxation and a disconnected government, they’re workers who are being kept down and exploited by the rich elite who label them as “inferior” for the most petty of reasons, whether it be race, creed, or nationality. Throughout history, worker uprisings have tended to result in lots of bloodshed, the rich elite being drug into the streets and shot, and the old power structure (to quote Daisy Fitzroy) “ripped up by the roots.”

And by the third timeline, when you’ve got Slate’s men serving as manpower in the revolution, then you’re also mixing in the ranks of disgruntled soldiers, angry over what they view as Comstock taking credit for the blood that they’d shed in Peking and at Wounded Knee. So there’s a lot of resentment and anger that’s fueling this revolution, but very little in the way of enlightened ideals or legitimate gripes. This isn’t a revolution meant to bring about a new government where equality and representation are the law, it’s the wronged dealing out what they consider is justice towards those who wronged them.

I would discuss the points you raise more in the future as I need to go to sleep now, but I think that if you have been dragged up to a city in the sky which is ruled by a Tyrant who has no interest in your personal well being where you can not leave and if you want to survive/feed your family you are forced to work 16 hours a day for barely enough money to get by on with no hope to make a better life for yourself you are hardly short of “legitimate gripes” with the system that is doing this to you.

Though the other counter point you raise are interesting and I will consider them more in the morning. But like I said, if nothing else I felt that if we’re gonna have a game that is set primarily in a city that is tied to /suppose to be a dark reflection of America, and there’s going to be a revolution in it, then it would be an interesting chance to at the very least explore why the American revolution actually WORKED or at least managed to produce a relatively minimal level of atrocities (at least as far as anyone other than the Native Americans were concerned) while kicking out the established power to create a new one.

4 jamesfirecat  Thu, May 30, 2013 9:40:03pm

re: #2 The Ghost of a Flea

So…Columbia in 1912 is like the South in the 1960s?

[Sorry.]

As to the issue of “proper” revolution…I hate to put it this way, generally by the time revolution becomes a cohesive force for overturning a government, it’s way past when folks who are already traumatized (and sometimes were born into a world of ongoing traumas) are going to be able to rebel but not misrule. Part and parcel of this is that individual rebels are rarely formed by deep intellectual appreciation of politics, government, or morality. Be they guerillas or local militia, they’re usually motivating by wanting to stop being hurt and/or do some retaliatory harm. And even the ones that have cohesive ideas about what comes next end up butting heads with those of differing views. When the fighting’s done, there’s a whole other scramble that begins.

The American Revolution is unusual for a bunch of reasons…and I don’t want to sound snarky, but…one of them is that the people rebelling hadn’t really had the boots taken to them compared to, say, what the British did to their Irish subjects or their non-white colonial subjects. Even the “rebels” initially viewed their actions as protest rather than revolt. They hadn’t been deprived of wealth, education, and opportunity for generations. They hadn’t been subject to arbitrary violence and/or sexual exploitation. They hadn’t been instilled with an ideology that marked them as lesser and undeserving.

So what you’re saying is that ironically/sadly the more a society has been screwed over the less likely an internal tearing of it down will yield positive results.

See this is the kind of thing that it would have been worth addressing in the game (showing why the Vox revolution might be in effect doomed from the start on the issue of creating a better life from those who are rebelling) as opposed to the American revolution, because if you look at it from that sad perspective it adds some appropriate historical flair but also ties all but perfectly into the ending for reasons I will not discuss unless you want to hear me do them/don’t mind spoilers.

5 The Ghost of a Flea  Thu, May 30, 2013 10:25:15pm

re: #4 jamesfirecat

So what you’re saying is that ironically/sadly the more a society has been screwed over the less likely an internal tearing of it down will yield positive results.

Eh…I’m not sure it’s proportional, but generally yes. And I’d narrow the field from “internal tearing down” to “internal tearing down via popular uprising”—stuff like juntas and coups are a different matter. Popular revolutions are like self-surgery. Amateur self-surgery.

See this is the kind of thing that it would have been worth addressing in the game (showing why the Vox revolution might be in effect doomed from the start on the issue of creating a better life from those who are rebelling) as opposed to the American revolution, because if you look at it from that sad perspective it adds some appropriate historical flair but also ties all but perfectly into the ending for reasons I will not discuss unless you want to hear me do them/don’t mind spoilers.

It sounds weird, but I don’t mind spoilers ‘cause I probably never be able to play Bioshock. Games with a FPS format make me violently motion sick. It’s been that way since the days of Doom. I actually tried Portal recently—super game aside from the dizziness and nausea—and it’s still an issue.

6 jamesfirecat  Fri, May 31, 2013 4:56:04am

re: #5 The Ghost of a Flea

Eh…I’m not sure it’s proportional, but generally yes. And I’d narrow the field from “internal tearing down” to “internal tearing down via popular uprising”—stuff like juntas and coups are a different matter. Popular revolutions are like self-surgery. Amateur self-surgery.

It sounds weird, but I don’t mind spoilers ‘cause I probably never be able to play Bioshock. Games with a FPS format make me violently motion sick. It’s been that way since the days of Doom. I actually tried Portal recently—super game aside from the dizziness and nausea—and it’s still an issue.

Okay well what happens at the end of the game…

Is that after defeating the big bad and destroying the device he was using to keep the heroine’s power in check she gains the ability to effectively travel in time between different dimensions. At this point both she and the hero more or less decide that even though they defeated the villain already the only way to have a happy ending is to go back in time and kill him before he can actually Build Columbia. This sort of plays into the very things you’ve brought up, where while the Vox deserve a happy ending, the only way they have anything close to a real shot at one is for them never to have been put into such dehumanizing and horrible conditions in the first place, and so by making it that they remain in the marginally less racist America of the late 18th early 19th century, they and their children will grow up in a society that has real chance for peaceful self correction of its negative trends without needing a violent uprising of the oppressed. It’s once again not exactly a happy moral to take home, but at least it would take note of the over all historical nature of revolutions. The problem is that the game doesn’t say this kind of stuff outright (at least as it relates to the Vox) which I feel is something of a mistake.

See what I mean?

7 Romantic Heretic  Fri, May 31, 2013 5:55:57am

I haven’t played Infinite yet. I’ll get it as soon as it’s available for Mac, which is supposed to be this summer.

But I’ve always liked Bioshock’s ability to tell a story with moral philosophy written into it. One and two are perfect examples of this. Together they showed that the libertarians/free marketers and the collectivists/communists are simply two sides of the same coin. Neither has any trouble exploiting people because TRUTH!.

Well done for the Bioshock creators.


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