Posts Tagged ‘Objectivism’

Feeling Randy: Rationalization

By Kieron Gillen on August 24th, 2009.

Rationalization is, as far as I can work out, pure art game. There is, as far as I can work out, not much game actually there. If you’ve no interest in this kind of thing, don’t follow the link, as it’s totally not for you. It’s also not, as far as I can work out, particularly great. I link to provide something for those of a certain mindset to chew over as they start the week. Go give it a shot, think about your interpretation. You’ll find mine beneath the cut, but don’t cheat. The one clue: according to the creator he made it to “to help me think through some philosophical ideas of Ayn Rand”.
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To Err is Human. To forgive, Levine.

By Kieron Gillen on September 4th, 2007.

I’m not sure what I was trying to do with that title.

In the big ol’ interview with Ken Levine which we launched the site with, I mentioned that other bits of the transcript found homes elsewhere. The biggest chunk of it has emerged, as PC Gamer republishes online my interview with Levine which is in their current print edition. It deals with controversy, developers reflecting culture, the price of a legacy and a splash of Randian philosophy. And here’s a quote.

“If you look at the ’60s, you’ll see Vietnam movies like John Wayne’s Green Beret being made. And you go to the ’70s, you have Apocalypse Now. From this ultra-patriotic unquestioning thing, we’re moving to a stage where games are getting mature enough to reflect the zeitgeist a little. BioShock is reflecting the confusion I have.”

The rest is here. Consume essential information. Consume!

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Levine meets Objectivists

By Kieron Gillen on August 21st, 2007.

This is an odd one. I haven’t seen it linked in any of the other blogs – it’s possible I just haven’t been paying attention to the right places though – but I found it when researching something.

(That is, entering random Bioshock related phrases into google.)

Basically, Andrew Russel, an objectivist gentleman drops Mr Levine an e-mail. And Mr Levine replies, and talks candidly about his beliefs regarding objectivism and world politics and hints at his intentions with Bioshock. And then Andrew posts the replies to the objectivist forums he frequents. To briefly set the stage – and it’s worth doing so, as in the UK, Objectivism and Ayn Rand are a lot less known than they are in the States – Bioshock’s setting of the isolated city of genius founded by one Andrew Ryan is clearly a riff off Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, and not necessarily a complimentary one. You may have seen Objectvists turn up in some Bioshock comments threads, voicing concerns (at best) and voicing anger (at worst).

As Andrew puts it…

What I am hoping is that BioShock treats the theory of individualism with proper respect. It would be very disheartening if BioShock were to equate individualism with an endless desire to prove oneself superior to others (this being a form of conformist parasitism Rand referred to as Second-Handing), free-market capitalism with making profit as an end-in-itself, or advocate the fallacious notion that laissez-faire is a zero-sum game. As you are obviously aware, Objectivism is often assumed to be wrong, evil, or an engine of societal collapse and disintegration, regardless of the historical evidence in favor of many Objectivist-approved principles.

Ken replies at length, but a couple of bits stick out. Firstly answering Andrew’s questions regarding Shock 2…

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