"I am Andrew Ryan, and I'm here to ask you a question. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? No, says the man in Washington, it belongs to the poor. No says the man in the Vatican, it belongs to God. No, says the man in Moscow, it belongs to everyone. I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture. A city where the artist would not fear the censor. Where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality. Where the great would not be constrained by the small. And with the sweat of your brow, rapture can become your city as well."
Overall Rating: 7.1
I like this game. Bioshock infinite is better, but this is good. I think everyone should play it and think about its political and philosophical implications. Especially any proponents of Ayn Rand's objectivist and egoist philosophy, which I stand vehemently opposed to. I think it is an affront to our shared humanity. I do not think there really exists such a thing as a "self-made man." I think the ideology of fundamental separateness between persons had its place, perhaps, but that humanity needs a new reckoning with its identity and our shared fate. I think the thirst for power leads us down the wrong path, one that will eventually destroy us. I interpreted the game through my own lens, of course, and I would be curious to hear someone else's interpretation in the comments.
Perhaps it could be argued that Rapture should exist, as an option, for those that want to be unimpeded by genuine human connection, for those who don't care, anyway. The only problem is that if it were real, it would have to be isolated from the rest of the world, most of all our children. And so, in my view, it would inevitably fail.
Rapture is dead by the time I get there. A shell of a city. I see the remains of eugenic experiments - the quest to find "the ideal man." Written on the wall, I see:
AeSthetics is a Moral Imperative
What could this mean? I thought the citizens of Rapture were not bound by "petty morality." But then, I think the phrase moral imperative takes on a different meaning here. I think it's about power. Imperatives are demands, commands, required by those in power. "Morality" in this world is used to subjugate - the very meaning of what it means to be a moral man in this word is skewed, altered, it's the opposite of love.
I find myself wondering, as I wander through the streets, through the hollow remnants of a city I can hardly believe was once Alive,
Where are all the Women?
Who bore children here? Are they somewhere else? Are they not fit for this world? Do men have better access to the kind of objective reason the proponents of Rapture claim to base their philosophy off of? There are definitely gendered implications, I thought. The only hint of innocence are the Little Girls, another façade, but I can't help but want to save them. Who was Andrew Ryan's mother?
It's interesting that they take the philosophy of Objectivism to the scientific realm where I've typically seen it through economics. The quest for "Truth" is itself about power, in this world, it seems. One singular person could potentially have privileged access to it, hence their quest for the ideal man. I wish they read my paper about epistemic imperatives for diversity. I think the scientific project is not only aided by but requires the integration of diverse perspectives in order to make progress. I think their project was doomed to fail from the beginning. It is no wonder their city lies in ruins. Maybe money and the economy is about winning at the expense of someone else losing.
But knowledge isn't. It can't be. Everyone loses when humanity destroys itself. Everyone loses when our ignorance runs us into the ground.
The meek shall inherit the Earth...
Dear God, I hope so.