Adventures of Non-Gamer: Bioshock Infinite
by Shawnie Kelly (@DearShawnie)
Oh my goodness, you guys! I’m so excited to tell you that I played a super scary game. Scary for me, that is. Bioshock Infinite — it was so beautiful and so incredibly disturbing to me at the same time. It really combined all of my biggest fears into one neat little package: demons, demon possession, religious cultism, abandoned lighthouses, carnies that make you throw baseballs at people instead of cute little milk bottles, carnies in general, top hats, and did I mention demons? Really, I’m very specifically afraid of all these things, so it’s a miracle I was even able to get through five minutes of this.
I knew it was an awesome game the moment I started because of the “feel”… you know, the overall atmosphere. Even the opening scene when it’s raining and those terrible people leave you stranded at the lighthouse (I mean, who does that?) is so littered with detail that I was mesmerized. The rain falling in rivulets down the side of the lighthouse, the reflection in the portal window, the light shining on the stormy sea, all of these things caught my attention. I really appreciated the little intricacies throughout the design of this game as aesthetics are a big part of whether or not something appeals to me. It’s true. I have never watched one full episode of That 70s Showbecause the color palette is nauseating. Can a girl get less brownish-greenish-tanish and more definite colors? I really just appreciate when colors know who they are, you know? Anyway, the colors in Bioshock are like “Yo, look at us and how pleasing to the eye we are. We’re like subtle yet bold ‘n stuff!”
Let me tell you why this game is so creepy to me. I’m far more comfortable with games that you know straight up are demony and spooky. Just let me know by the trailer whether or not I’m going to be covering my eyes the whole time. But this game is a little trickster. It’s like “come up to heaven on a magic spaceship and look at all of our pretty colors, but wait we’re also in hell!” It’s the kind of scary that sneaks up on me. I don’t like anything religiously disturbing with priests that need exorcisms and little children choirs singing songs about New Eden in dark candle-lit basements. Who is this “prophet” and why are these weirdoes praying to him? There are pictures of him everywhere, and he looks super jolly and fun, but we know he’s not. WE. KNOW. HE’S. NOT. Again, the details also added to the terror level for me. Signs like “Of thy sins I shall wash thee, from Sodom I shall lead thee” are weird when they are hanging over a dead body with a bloodied bag over its head. But maybe it’s just me. Oh, and I was playing this alone in the dark; I could have been watching Barney and I would’ve been checking the closets for monsters.
I have to say that I didn’t get very far in my actual task, which is saving some girl. I feel like every game is saving a girl, right? That is definitely about 98% of video game plots. But I did get to fight some soldiers and possess some people, which I guess is kind of cool. I still have questions though, like is this America? Because red, white, and blue flags are in abundance and everyone’s speaking English. What time period is this? Based on the clothing is looks like early 1900s, but did we have robot guns that sawed through people’s faces in 1910? Also, I don’t think we had fancy spaceship chairs that launched you into heavenly worlds during the turn of the century, but I should be more open-minded. These are genuine questions that I’m curious about, you guys.
Overall, I learned that I never want to go to Columbia (the mystical world Columbia, that is. I’m sure the South American country is lovely with great coffee). I would play this again for sure, but next time I will be expecting the rather horrific sawing off of heads and flaming bodies. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… I’m not 100% confident about the rest of this quote.
Happy gaming, you gamers!