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Levine: Occupy Wall Street and tea party mirror revolution in BioShock Infinite


Irrational Games' creative frontman Ken Levine started Occupy Wall Street in a city in the sky, a year before the first tent was pitched on the ground in Manhattan -- and if his timeline of events in BioShock Infinite is any indication of our own future, we'd better start building some evacuation skyhooks yesterday. Levine draws parallels between the fighting political factions in Infinite, the Founders and the Vox Populi, and the OWS and tea party movements, in an interview with the Washington Post. But it doesn't start -- or stop -- there:

"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."

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