"In this world, we came up with the idea of looking at what was happening at the time of the game [the 1890s], with the jingoism movement and the nationalist movement versus internationalist movement," Levine said. "This was before the tea party, before Occupy Wall Street. Actually, when people saw that demo, they thought we were aping the tea party; they thought it was a hit piece on the Tea Party. But these movements tend to happen. There have been nationalist and nativist movements many times through history.
"As we developed these opposing groups," Levine continued, "the Founders versus the Vox Populi, it was interesting to see this play out in real time, so that the fictional movements we're creating that are set in this heightened past are almost being duplicated in reality."
The polarizing views in the game mirror real-life partisan perception of the BioShock games, Levine said, with people on both sides vilifying them for opposing reasons. Infinite demonstrates a possible outcome of such political extremes, with Columbia seceding from McKinley-era America and devolving into violent drama. "I hope the real-life movements don't head to the same place, though," Levine said. "I'm not going anywhere nice, I'll tell you that much."