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BioShock Infinite character 'highly altered' after the religion talk


Though Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine says he isn't a religious person, he takes religion's place in Bioshock Infinite seriously. During development, his conversations with religious employees at Irrational created a major shift for one of Infinite's characters.

"One of the characters in the game was highly altered based upon some very interesting conversations I had with people on the team who came from a very religious background, and I was able to understand they were kind of upset about something," Levine tells OPM.

"What I said to them was, 'I'm not going to change anything to get your approval, but I think I understand what you're saying and I think I can do something that's going to make the story better, based on what you said.' So I did that, and I'm grateful for them bringing in their perspective. The last thing I wanted to do was change something because it offends somebody, but the thing they pointed out was making it a lesser story."

Infinite offers an intriguing blend of religion, philosophy and science, as we discovered last year. The city of Columbia is presented as a real-world heaven and its founder is a God-like prophet. The entire game hinges on the philosophy of objectivism and it addresses the pseudo-science of "the ether" and resurrection. That leaves plenty to talk about, religious or not.

The religion conversation for Infinite mirrors one Levine remembers during the original BioShock's development. "I think that we had a similar conversation about Bioshock 1," Levine says. "It involves infanticide, I don't think there's a larger taboo in the world. There were people who were very nervous about that. We didn't have that because we thought it would be cool. My feeling was if it's not just there to be exploitative, if it's true to the story and you're telling something that you think is honest, then everything has a place."

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