I need Eve! Rules and the player you choose to be in Bioshock.

Posted: February 11, 2013 by jeffleblow in Uncategorized
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As I continue my journey through Rapture, I choose instead this time to focus on the rules of the game, and how I can interact with them as a player. The two types of rules that I found myself consistently dealing with are Constituative and Implicit rules. I find that Bioshock has a very straightforward play path, created largely by the constituative rules of the game. Another way in which the constituative rules have binded me is my desperate lack of Eve. In the beginning of the video, I am startled by a splicer as I make my way through of the scariest areas thus far. I quickly fire off 3 blasts of electricity, wasting quite a bit of eve. Without eve, I have no plasmids, and without plasmids I cannot progress through the game. As I continue through the medical ward, in an attempt to find the misguided Dr. Steinman, I find my pathway blocked by a large chunk of debris. Here, the rules put in place by the game designers have barred me from reaching Steinman and ultimately murdering him in cold blood. Damn. Since the game has decided that I cannot proceed further into the surgery ward, I attempt to find a way around, or find a way to move the debris. The first idea that pops into my head is the Telekinesis plasmid I have been hearing about. So with a quick blast of my newly acquired Incinerate, I clear a path that was previously blocked from me by the constituative rules by melting some ice. Bioshock’s constituative rules are, at this point, very clearly articulated. I takes me no time to figure out where the environment allows or does not allow me to go, and I am able to easily make the connection that once I have acquired the ability to shoot fire, I can melt the ice that was blocking my path. Anyhow, I continue through the medical pavilion, fighting hordes of deranged doctors and nurses turned splicers, until I am finally greeted by my objective, Telekinesis! Now to deal with Steinman… Back to the surgery ward I go, but my telekinesis does not seem to be working on the debris, might as well kill the splicer throwing grenades at me in the mean time. Splicer dead … debris lifted? I was a bit confused by this, but I suppose I just needed to HAVE the plasmid before I continue on. The programmers, in this instance, are FORCING me to choose my abilities by using the environment as a guiding rule. Interesting. Let’s fast forward, I find Steiman, kill him with a little help from my mechanical friend, and move forward in the game. As I traverse back towards the main medical pavilion, the environment changes. A tunnel collapse forces me to take a side route. The constituative rules have again foiled my plans! A dead big daddy, a splicer attacking a little girl, a woman standing on the balcony yelling at me, Atlas telling me what to do via intercom. I am bombarded by a slurry of new information. I back the small child into a corner, and am given a choice. Harvest the girl, killing her, or cure her of little sister status, saving her, but with no apparent reward for myself. For the first time, Bioshock has confronted me with a moral decision. I choose to save the girl. This decision reveals both an implicit rule, and a foreshadowing to the type of player I will be in Bioshock. In the real world, it is absolutely wrong to kill a little girl. Only the sickest of the sick would do such a thing. But in Bioshock, I can choose to kill a girl with no repercussions for myself. In fact, I am rewarded for doing such a dastardly deed. And if I do so choose to harm the little one, what kind of player am I? I would argue that any player who kills the little girls is considered a standard player, while those who save the girls are dedicated players. By saving the girl, I am guaranteed a reward at a later time. As I am choosing to dedicate myself to playing through all of Bioshock, I choose to save the little girls. This alone is my basis for my choice. Anyhow, onward through Rapture! As you can see at the end of my video (once vimeo finally processes it) I get completely destroyed by the Big Daddy. Ouch…

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