Lord of Death
Bioshock Infinite vs Suicide [Spoilers for Bioshock Infinite and Metal Gear Rising]
This is just a random musing about Bioshock Infinite. If it generates discussion that's cool. If not that's cool too.
This article contains spoilers for both Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Bioshock Infinite.
While none of the vigors in Bioshock Infinite really make any sense, the Posession vigor is the most suspect. In the short film showed to you it depicts a man turning a security system against a little devil. If the security systems are against you, wouldnít that make you a criminal? They invented a vigor invented to allow you to commit crimes easier. Itís upgraded form is even more curious.
I could try and poke out how these vigors donít serve any real purpose to Columbian society all day, but how could anybody justify an ability that made people kill themselves? It opens up a can of worms. Now any murder can look like a suicide, or you could simply order people to commit murders for you. Law enforcement would become a joke.
In Bookerís hands its fine, I guess. Those guys were going to die anyway. The suicides are fully animated, too. They donít just fall over. It was somebodyís job to animate police officers and citizens kill themselves for your entertainment. You could argue that its no worse than the other ways you can violently murder people in the game, and youíre probably right.
Itís not like the game really understands or gives a shit about morality anyway. Even setting aside the murder masturbation fantasy, Fitzroyís betrayal is the actual most ridiculous part. Bioshock points the finger at you and asks you if you believe in moral relativism, and no matter what you say it shits into your mouth with bollocks about how a rebellion against institutionalized racism is as bad as racism itself. I imagine Ken Levine smiling smugly as he writeís about how bad revolutions are in the margin, in a world so heavily inspired by the foundation of modern America which began with one. Thatís not deep. Itís embarrassing for all of us.
Iíve always wanted to include the concept of suicide in my games, because itís something Iím interested in and want to talk about. Knowing that, I decided to draw the line at giving the player the power to cause somebody to commit suicide. Suicide is a choice a person makes. Possibly the last decision they will ever make. If you are going to remove that choice you might as well just kill them.
Strangely enough, one of the silliest games Iíve ever played touches on the morality of killing random henchmen much better than SUPER DEEP Bioshock Infinite. In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the moment where you could hear all the suppressed emotions from the mercenaries you were killing actually effected me. I wanted to act like I didnít care, but the dialog is very sincere. It hammers it on pretty thick a couple times, but the idea is clear. Their motivations do not align with yours, or even the people they work for. They are not in control of their faculties.
I canít imagine the enemies in Bioshock Infinite are either. In the dimension in which Fitzroy tries to kill Booker, you find out he was actually a martyr. The return of the martyr Booker DeWitt, doesnít seem to effect anybody though. As soon as the game decides that you need to shoot red people instead of blue people, they turn on you. Nobody questions whether Fitzroy or DeWitt is their real leader. Nobody so much as hesitates.
When Booker fought for the freedom of the slaves, did he not make any friends? Itís probably for the better that he didnít, since he would have made them commit suicide anyway.