Bioshock Infinite: Left Wing Propaganda in Video Game Form

Bioshock Infinite

For those actually wanting to play this game, this article is full of spoilers. You have been warned.

I Played This Game All The Way Through To The End

The much anticipated game, which is a sequel to the games “Bioshock” and “Bioshock 2″, “Bioshock Infinite”, is quite simply a left wing propaganda story laden with messages of “the religious are hateful bigots”, “the religious worshop the US founding fathers”, “the religious blindly follow madmen and liars”, etc.  The makers do a sad attempt at making them look like only the confederates are like this, as the game takes place in 1912, and gives the impression the city of “Columbia” is made up of post-civil war sympathizers.

The game is central upon four characters, which is really only two.  You play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton strike busting thug and war veteran (hmmm… anti-union) who was told to enter Columbia, a place he never heard of, to rescue a girl and bring her back to the one who hired him.  The deal says in doing this, all his debts will be paid (he’s a drunk gambler, but “debts” turns out to be much more).  Columbia, it turns out, is a floating city in the sky held aloft with “quantum mechanics” techniques.  No problem so far, make believe is what video games are supposed to be about.

He is rowed out to a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean (the same one in the previous games), by a mysterious man and woman.  In the previous games, the city “Rapture” was an under water city, so a floating city in the sky is not a big stretch.  He walks into the lighthouse not knowing where he is really going (walking past a dead body brutally executed), and sits into a chair that appears mechanically.  The chair is a seat to a device that launches him into the sky and on to a platform in a “temple” in Columbia where symbols of “The Prophet” are worshiped.

He now must find this girl who is being held captive.  The whole game centers on String Theory, alternate realities, and time travel.  It turns out this girl can travel between realities and time in those realities, IF she is not being constrained by this device called “The Siphon”,  We don’t get told this until near the end of the game, but the hints point to it.

Elizabeth and The Prophet

Elizabeth and The Prophet

The “Prophet” is really “Booker DeWitt” from an alternate reality.  Booker DeWitt was in the battle of Wounded Knee, and regrets the things done.  In his past, he was at a riverside where a preacher was wanting to baptize him and other men like him.  The Booker you are playing refused baptism at the last second.  The “Prophet” accepted baptism and changed his name to Zachary Hale Comstock.  Comstock goes on to become friends with a woman scientist, Rosalind Lutece, who invents the technology to float a city in the sky, and travel between realities.  This allows Comstock to “prophesy” on the future.

The eventual climax is realizing the girl Elizabeth, is really Anna, the baby Booker sold to the male version of Rosalind the scientist (it’s an alternate reality), and that he sold it to the sterile Comstock (who has become that way from traveling between realities too much using Rosalind’s machine), who is really Booker in an alternate reality.  Does it hurt your brain yet?

Well, it turns out this troubled soul, Booker DeWitt, has been “rescuing” Anna/Elizabeth over and over in a sort of continuous loop from hell (a chalkboard hints at 122).  What is different this time is the destruction of the Siphon allowing Anna/Elizabeth to become who she is, an almost omnipotent being able to see all realities and possibilities at once, and able to travel between them at will.  In the scenes at the end, Booker soon confronts his old past memories where he sold his baby girl to pay off his debts, but then reconsiders and tracks them down and attempts to stop the scientist and Comstock from taking her through a portal to another reality, Comstock’s reality, which closes with his daughter gone, and only the tip of her pinky finger remaining when the portal closed behind them (which actually turns out to be the cause why Elizabeth/Anna has her powers).

Anna and Comstock

Comstock taking Anna through the portal, and Booker (you) couldn’t stop it in time.

Well, it turns out this scientist soon sees the evil in Comstock, and uses her brain and technology to “disappear” to an alternate reality, and re-hire Booker to rescue “a” girl, with the help of her alternate reality male version.  Booker does not know that it is Anna, but she is called Elizabeth now, and is about 20 years old.

The Tuleces (the same person, you figure it out)

The Tuleces (the same person, you figure it out)

Back to Booker at the end, it turns out that Booker learns that because of alternate realities having infinite possibilities, the only solution is to kill Comstock (the bad guy Booker) at birth.  Well, it seems the birth they are speaking of is the rebirth at baptism.  The only way to solve the problem is to kill him before he was baptized.

Booker Baptism

The Preacher and other sinners at Booker’s baptism

So the last scene is Booker (you), getting drown to death by many alternate reality Elizabeths/Annas.  When he is dead, suddenly all of the alternate Elizabeths/Annas disappear, the credits role, and just when you think it’s over, you awake as Booker in his apartment opening a door approaching a crib with him saying “Anna?” and then it goes black.

Elizabeths

The Elizabeth/Anna you have been rescuing (center), and other alternate reality Elizabeths, right before they drown you to death (at your request it seems).

Columbia

Columbia

The Floating City Columbia

Columbia is a floating city in the sky, that on its surface appears like a Utopia.  It is, however, full of bigoted white people using those not of their race for pleasure and servitude, taking a complete disregard for their lives.  In fact, holding weekly raffles for people to throw a baseball to drop execute blacks, as a game.  These people revere and even worship their “Prophet”, Zachary Comstock (the baptized Booker DeWitt of an alternate reality).

Throughout the game, it tries to show you that religion, American values, and the founding fathers are what caused the evil that is Columbia and Comstock.  Columbia has statues commemorating George Washingon (“Father Washington”), Benjamin Franklin (“Father Franklin”), and Thomas Jefferson (“Father Jefferson”), all part of Columbia’s own propaganda that actually contributes to the subtle propaganda this game tries to push.  People pray to the founding fathers, to the Prophet, etc. like saints.  It’s all rather sickening.

The “Hall of Heroes” tries to justify the themes by making these “Americans” as Confederates that actually succeeded in their cecession from the Union.  I mean, it’s a city in the sky, who’s going to stop them in the late 1800s?  They have paintings depicting Abraham Lincoln as a devil and other such images.  Such a thing may have been excusable, except for their reasoning that religion causes evil and insanity (the propaganda of the game), and that free choice is but an illusion, according to their view of science (quantum mechanics and string theory).

The whole premise is based upon a one-sided telling of the history of the USA as nothing but horrible and bad, with the founders being evil, white people being evil, and religion being the fuel of it all.  I am surprised the hammer and sickle wasn’t used as a hero’s battle flag.

The “tanks,” or weapon weilding robotic sentinels, are in the likeness of George Washington carrying flags and a crank gun, spouting quotes as he pumps lead into you.  These “tanks” are called “Patriots”, not exactly subtle there.

First Few Minutes of The Game

Marketing

First the teaser, which was released three years before the game was released:

Now the trailers for the game a week before release:

My Suggestion To The Makers of Bioshock Infinite

This is a game, granted, I will give you that, but what is a shame is an ignorant view of religion, and America’s history.  How much propaganda have you swollowed throughout your life before you made this game?  May I suggest you actually study history, not from people telling you what it was, but by reading about it yourself from the sources themselves?  Maybe, just maybe, you might want to read about those that were in support of the Constitution and founding fathers that were black, like Frederick Douglass, for example.  You might want to read about Abraham Lincoln and the history of the party he helped found, as well as the history of the Democrat and Whig parties.  You may learn that it was the religious that formed the Republican party, as a small government and anti-slavery party, and against everything the Whigs and Democrats were doing to the original statements of freedom the Constitution guaranteed to every man.  You might want to investigate who the real bigots were, the ones that formed the Klu Klux Klan (the southern Democrat Party), the ones that wanted gun control to keep weapons out of the hands of recently freed slaves (the Democrat Party), the ones who were overwhelmingly in favor of cecession for the sake of slavery (the southern Democrat Party), the ones who made the Jim Crow laws (Democrats), the ones who kept trying to outlaw the Jim Crow laws (Republicans of the time), etc.

The Whigs were like the Republican party of today, not giving a rats ass about freedom and small government, nor the people.  The Democrats haven’t changed much, just as racist, and with a heavy desire to enslave, except they now do it with government welfare and controlling education (endoctrination and dumbing down the population), instead of whips and chains.  The Democrats have convinced much of the populace that follows them, that the plantation is safe and desireable full of free stuff(!), and that they can’t take care of themselves.

Sure, it’s just a game, but a game so obvious in its message, that you can’t hide behind “artistic license” as an excuse.  Propaganda has reached an all time high with this game.  Many people hail its ending.  I nearly wanted to vomit, I was so disgusted with it.

My Thoughts On This View of History

1912 had its bigotry, but it wasn’t caused by Christianity.  Odd how those that never read the Bible claim to hate it so much, or claim it is the cause of all the world’s evil.  The message of Jesus Christ is nothing but love, nothing but instruction to love everyone, including enemies.  The parable of the Good Samaritan is Jesus’ instruction on not only being charitable to others, but the Jews considered Samaritans as lowlifes, the scum of the earth, and Jesus showing them the Samaritan was greater than a Levite, and even a Priest.  Why?  He showed love and charity to someone that likely would have hated him, had he been conscious.  Jesus talking face to face to a Samaritan woman at the well also showed he loved everyone, not just the Jews or his disciples at the time.

Where so-called religion becomes a problem, is where the people don’t practice what they preach.  They use their position to exercize authority and control over others using their religion as an excuse.  The religion itself isn’t the problem, it’s those falsely proclaiming to live it (a possible story explanation the game never indicates).  This is why the USA was created in the first place.  It kept the church out of the hands of the government.  Unfortunately, now the church of atheism and environmentalism now has control over the government, and exercises tremendous tyranny against the religious.

What am I saying?  The entire premise of Bioshock Infinite is a lie.  It’s a house of cards that falls apart a few minutes into it, with anyone that knows anything about religion and US history, that hasn’t been endoctrinated by left wing propaganda of university professors hell bent on destroying both.

Meaning of Bioshock Infinite

The bad guy is a result of baptism and religion.  The good guy uses his own intellect and muscle for redemption; which he gains by giving his own life.  Bigotry and misery are a result of religion (Christianity in this case, as the baptism was clearly Christian considering the preacher says “give your sins to Jesus”).  Freedom and understanding come from your own intellect and understanding science.  Free choice is an illusion, as all alternate choices have been made in an alternate reality already.

The problem with this premise is it is a lie.  Everything you see, God created, and the science of it all fits perfectly in its mathematical purity.  Science is not separate from religion.  Religion merely helps you understand who created it.  Everything, physical laws, matter, energy, all perfect in it’s beauty and rules.  Misery is what happens when tyrants take control, and take away your personal responsibility and ability to choose.  Happiness is what happens when you are free to chose on your own merits, be it success or failure, and reap the rewards and consequences of those choices.  Happiness comes from loving everyone and being charitable to everyone.  I cannot possibly see how that can result in misery, but they seem to think so.  Seriously, I never felt joy paying taxes, but I do feel joy helping people on my own choice.

By the way, Einstein, considered the world’s greatest scientist, was religious, and a Jew, and firm believer in God.  His best friend was a renown chemist, Henry Eyring, a Mormon.  Granted, Einstein was a socialist, but then again, nobody is perfect.

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5 Responses to “Bioshock Infinite: Left Wing Propaganda in Video Game Form”

  1. “By the way, Einstein, considered the world’s greatest scientist, was religious, and a Jew, and firm believer in God.”

    By the way, Einstein was a socialist and wrote for Monthly Review.

  2. This is, quite frankly, a huge simplification of a great game, and I can’t help but think you’re inventing things to be offended about. Saying that religion and democracy are presented by Irrational as the REASON that Comstock is evil is to take everything at face value, and miss the greater point of the game entirely.

    At no point do the creators say that religion itself, or the Founding Fathers themselves, are the root of all evil. At what point are the teaching of Jesus even mentioned? At what point are the teachings of the Founders criticized? It isn’t THEM that the game is criticizing, it’s people using them for their own ends. Comstock has no interest in the actual teachings of Jesus Christ, which is pretty obvious in the fact that he never mentions them. He feels himself above those teachings–he reveres HIMSELF as a God. Isn’t that pretty un-Christian?

    “The whole premise is based upon a one-sided telling of the history of the USA as nothing but horrible and bad, with the founders being evil, white people being evil, and religion being the fuel of it all.”

    That is beyond overly simplified. It isn’t the fact that Columbia is patriotic that makes it bad, its their personal sense of exceptionalism that they believe entitles them to open fire on Chinese citizens at their own discretion. The Founders aren’t evil, it’s the deifying of them–which absolutely happens, frequently, in American politics–that causes problems. White people aren’t evil (look at Elizabeth), RACIST white people are evil. Religion isn’t the fuel of it all, it’s the abuse of religion in the name of POWER.

    So, similar to how you did, let’s break this down:

    “The bad guy is a result of baptism and religion.”

    No. He is the result of feeling that his sins have been cleared away, so he is morally superior to those around him, without learning from his mistakes or changing his worldview whatsoever. There is a division of religious groups that allow for that–for this idea that no matter what you do, you will be forgiven as long as you ask nicely, as opposed to being forgiven once you learn from your mistakes. That’s not saying religion is bad, or he is bad because of religion; he’s bad because he’s an evil person with evil intent, and he uses religion as a cover to allow for it.

    “The good guy uses his own intellect and muscle for redemption.”

    No, he doesn’t. The game makes a big point that Booker is just as horrible as Comstock in many ways, and in all likelihood, he CANNOT be redeemed for what he has done, because redemption doesn’t actually solve anything. What makes Booker the protagonist in the end, and Comstock the antagonist, is Booker’s willingness to own up to what he has done and actually DO SOMETHING about it. Absent religion in any sense, Comstock is willing to sacrifice Elizabeth for his own plans. Absent religion in any sense, Booker is willing to sacrifice himself to save her. Religion is a frame for this question of what redemption really means.

    “Bigotry and misery are a result of religion.”

    No. Bigoted people hide behind religion and patriotism as a way of forcing their beliefs on others. “God Hates Fags” anyone?

    “Freedom and understanding come from intellect and understanding science.”

    You realize the Luteces, who are effectively the embodiment of science in this game, cause just as much trouble as Comstock, correct? They happen to turn against him later, but they are at best a neutral party–and through science, they utterly destroy Booker and Elizabeth’s lives. How can that be mistaken for an unquestioning love of science?

    “Free choice is an illusion, all alternate choices have been made in an alternate reality already.”

    If free choice wasn’t possible, there wouldn’t BE any alternate realities, because there would only be one choice. Saying that there is no free choice because a reality exists where each of those choices takes place is to misunderstand the concept entirely. As Elizabeth puts it, there are a “million, million” worlds out there, and each one exists because of a sequence of choices. The game is saying you can’t undo the choices you have ALREADY made–Booker already went to the baptism and rejected it, he already sold Anna to clear his debts. Redemption, in this sense, is useless, because it doesn’t actually FIX anything. Really, Bioshock Infinite presents a very stark reality with a hint of optimism: you will never, ever, be able to undo what you have already done–you can only move forward.

    To think that Bioshock is “leftist propaganda” (and making bizarre claims about the creators not knowing that the Democrats used to be racist and Republicans socially progressive–which, quite honestly, speaks more to your fixations than theirs) is to simplify it down to its most easily digestible bits, and at that point you’ve lost all the flavor. While this game may use religion and patriotism to talk about its greater themes, it is by no means as limited by them as you seem to claim. It is about much greater questions, of false deification, of perceived exceptionalism,of what it really means to be redeemed, about regret and making up for past mistakes.

    And in fact, you agree with the creators! You said it right here, in your statement about religion:

    “Where so-called religion becomes a problem, is where the people don’t practice what they preach. They use their position to exercize authority and control over others using their religion as an excuse. The religion itself isn’t the problem, it’s those falsely proclaiming to live it.”

    EXACTLY. Comstock is exactly what you have described here: someone who exerted control over others, using religion as excuse for his behavior. In religion’s name, he endorsed racist public policy. In religion’s name, he felt he could make decisions about others’ lives, going so far as to kill them while believing he would suffer no consequence. In religion’s name, he very nearly stole Elizabeth’s identity with experimental brain surgery. In what way does he follow the teachings of Christ? In what way is the game slandering Christ by saying that what this man is doing is wrong?

    I think you agree with the developers a little more than you think you do–if only you would take off those political-glasses and see it.

    • Ah, so what you are saying is that the game is intentionally vague to allow for many interpretations.

      That I will grant you. However, today’s political climate, and outright attack on those on the “religious right” and those (actually being accused as being “radicals”) proclaiming to appreciate the genius of those that founded this nation, imperfect as they were, it tends to be very suspicious seeing material such as this. Propaganda is made with this sort of indirect approach.

      The game is haphazard, full of holes, not many connections to tie together. They make a half-assed attempt at the end to answer some questions, and all you are left with at the end of the game is, “what the crap?”

      Movies, news agencies, television, all have accelerated their attack on what made this nation, and those of christian belief. CNN, ABC, and especially MSNBC have made it their agenda to attack christianity and those claiming to be patriotic to the founding values. CHRISTIANITY IS DIRECTLY POINTED TO IN THE GAME. The preacher says, at Booker’s baptism, “ARE YOU READY TO BE CLEANSED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB? JESUS! WIPE THIS MAN CLEAN!” So, you’re wrong here. It was Christianity that made this man go fanatic, according to the game.

      Propaganda is designed to bypass common sense, and get you to accept a false rationalization for something that is screamingly obvious. Just the first five minutes of the game alone tries to make religion be crazy fanaticism. It’s general vagueness actually does this approach justice.

      You see, everything you explained in your comment was not explained in the game. All of the philosophical points of where you said I agreed with the premise of the game, actually have no actual telling in the game, yet could be added to the game’s narrative to make it plausible; a perfect propaganda technique. Nobody says it, nobody shows it, no narrator explains it, no quote on a loading screen describes it. However, what is actually seen in the game, and the message that is actually being told, without trying to read in some sort of deeper meaning, is simply what I said: “The bad guy is a result of baptism and religion” and I may add that “religion is full of sick bigoted fanatics that want to exploit others.” That is actually what the scenes tell in the game.

      The reason why this explanation holds up, is that the act of baptism itself is shown to be what actually causes Booker to be Comstock. It doesn’t show what was taught to him before and after. It shows no history. It just shows a baptism. The game then says that no matter what happens after baptism, he is Comstock, thus baptism is the evil. Remember, he has done this over and over, at least 122 times already, and each time Comstock is the result of Christian baptism. That is what is shown. The theme of the game is “pulling out the root”… [of the problem].

      As to free will, and those in science (string theory) saying it is an illusion, sorry, that is exactly what they say. In fact, their response to a free will claim is “the actions of electrons prove free will is an illusion”. Such books as “The Elegant Universe”, “The Cosmic Landscape” (a joke to read), and its alter-ego “Not Even Wrong” just to start. In fact, the most frequently asked question of those discussing String Theory and Quantum Mechanics is “does free will even exist?”

    • You know… I just had a thought. “Prophet” sounds a lot like “profit”. These people were worshiping a “prophet”. Hmmm… Like Spock, I raise an eyebrow…

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