This game is anti-American, and as such we should not endorse it.

#1Pretty_OddPosted 8/2/2011 5:56:08 PM
Hello, everyone. I consider myself a Bioshock fan and the previews for this game along with details I've read make it seem like not only another great experience, but an achievement in the art of video games. Unfortunately, that comes wrapped in a package of anti-American propaganda.

Now, I don't know if the guys at Irrational are part of the progressive movement (progressives want to "progress" past the Constitution), or if they've been brainwashed by our media (like most of us), or if they just think this approach will make them the most amount of money. All I know for sure is that this game will mislead you into thinking very negative things about your country and its founders. Any argument about it NOT being against America is proven by the enemies you face being called The Founders. I can't think of anything more evil than making the young generation think of our founding fathers as bad guys, rather than heroes who liberated the world.

So, I come to you today not only as a fellow gamer and Bioshock fan, but as a patriot. Please, hear what I have to say.

When the colonies were first established, they were all about getting away from the oppressive rule of Britain, and as such wanted each colony to have a completely separate government, fearing the idea of something like New York gaining a ton of power and wreaking tyranny on them once again. It was for that reason that the Federalist Papers were written. They were mostly by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, and were published in newspapers under the pen name Publius.

Embedded throughout the papers was a core belief that seemed to be manifesting itself publicly for the very first time: American exceptionalism. Since then, this belief has been at the center of America's standing in the world, and stands at the center of how we carry ourselves as a nation.

American exceptionalism is the idea that America is not merely different from other nations and governments on earth-- but exceptional among them. More specifically, it's the belief that the hand of Providence brought together peoples of all colors and creeds to unite around a core set of universally shared values such as the rule of law, natural rights, and equality of opportunity to create a nation unlike any other across the arc of human history.

To some, American exceptionalism amounts to cheering for our own team, a puffed-up sense of superiority, or misplaced national pride. Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and the rest of the Founders could not have disagreed more. They believed that, far from being about ego, American exceptionalism was the axis on which human freedom spins. If you don't believe you are exceptional then who else will? If you don't hold yourself up to the highest possible standards, how can you expect to accomplish anything great? If you unexceptional then you deserve to be ruled by others.

Unfortunately, some now believe that this concept is out of date. We may believe we are exceptional, they say, but other countries believe the same about themselves. That is simply not true. No other country has ever taken such a leap of faith with their future as our Founders did in the eighteenth century. A representative democracy, governing centrally over independent states to ensure the individual rights of man, wasn't simply original, it was exceptional.

And it still is.

So you see the problem with Infinite. It shows exceptionalism as a bad thing, that it was somehow racism. What they don't tell you is that we had black founding fathers. They don't tell you that our Constitution is "a charter of negative liberties" TOWARDS THE GOVERNMENT. It was the first in the world to be all about the freedom of man (all men) from oppression, where everyone, rich or poor, is given the same opportunity, and it is the single longest lasting government under a single charter in the history of our planet because of that.
#2Famine_10f4Posted 8/2/2011 8:19:22 PM

I will have to take this with a grain of salt, you may be a troll... then again you did write an awful lot. *sigh*, fine! I am drawn to these sort of debates.

First off you would be a great citizen in Columbia, unfortunately no such place exists so you'll just have to make do with this place called Earth... Earth being the entire planet, not just America.

If videogames honestly started manipulating our view of the world then we would all be trying to wipe out Russia, being that they are, more often than not, the antagonist in videogames.

That being said how often do we find ourselves NOT playing as some American saving the world?... Let alone being the bad guys? Not many that I can recall, I think there needs to be a little balance/variety.

Besides Columbia started off as an American beacon of awesomeness, but after having a feud with the American government itself the Founders (of Columbia, not America) took their grand city and vanished. Columbia is full of extremists, probably mixed in with a bit of crazy, either way it is bad.

this game will mislead you into thinking very negative things about your country and its founders

Eh, I'm Canadian... Just thought you would like to know.

#3XxEpic_GirlxXPosted 8/2/2011 8:47:10 PM(edited)
This series is about showing the dangers of extremism. And guess what? Exceptionalism can be taken to an extreme.
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#4Solusx2Posted 8/2/2011 9:37:18 PM
tl:dr
#5JanwayDaahlPosted 8/2/2011 10:25:21 PM
Let me repudiate your argument, not out of spite or anything, but because I think you deserve a well-grounded response for a well thought out idea. There are basically two portions to my argument as to why yours is a bit misguided.


I'll start with the most basic response of why your theory about this game being anti-American propaganda is wrong.

1.) This game was made with the sole intent of providing a stimulating game experience while generating revenue for the company. Like some games (i.e. Modern warfare 2), there are political undertones that are used not to insult or disseminate nationalistic propaganda, but to create the illusion of possibility. In layman's terms, they're using stuff that could sound like viable real life events to make things interesting-- to further absorb the gamer into the game.

Obviously with bioshock infinite, a game that is hard set in fantasy, you can't expect events like a flying city existing 2-3 centuries back to be true. However, like your thesis posited, one can still use fantasy as means to let out propaganda.

So the possibility of using words like "The Founders" as propaganda, though possible, is more likely steered towards immersing the player in the time that this game is going on.


2.) Bioshock Infinite entails how Columbia, a flying city formerly governed by the US, fired upon the Chinese during the Boxer rebellion (an anti-imperialistic/anti-Christianity movement by the Chinese), after which the flying fortress was disavowed by the US. Then you get a huge power struggle between two groups.

So basically, they make the game such that you have

The Founders: "Xenophobic" ruling class that wants to oust all non-Americans.

Vox Populi: Akin to the noble agenda of an ideal Communist government, this class wanted to give citizenship to all citizens of Columbia, but soon resorted to violence and irrational means to gain power.

So ostensibly, if you want to boil things down to the bare minimum, you have corrupt communists (anti-communist "propaganda") and the evil Founders (anti-american "propaganda").

However (and this is the key piece to argument #2), you're not look at the BIG PICTURE. The bioshock series entails how seemingly Utopian societies devolve and degrade into dystopias. In the case of bioshock 1/2, you were placed in the aftermath of this societal collapse. In bioshock infinite, we get to see the struggle happen live-action. The use of The Founders as the name of the jingoistic ruling class of Columbia was not intended to be so charged as you think it to be. Linking back to argument #1, it is meant to involve you in the time during which the game is unfolding.



But for argument's sake-- I'll play devil's advocate. Let's just say The Founders did mean what you think, and it's anti-American propaganda from a US-run gaming studio. Wouldn't the game be equally targeting Communism (vox populi) pejoratively? They show the vox populi as a group of people with a seemingly good cause who go corrupt and ruthless for no reason.

tldr: Learn to read things that engage your mind a little, instead of letting it rot away in prattle. TLDR: There is no tldr ;D.
#6YermomHoudiniPosted 8/3/2011 4:27:43 AM(edited)
I am betting TC is a tea party member from the south and will only vote for republicans even if the people get voted into office are corporate puppets.
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#7FruityCray0nPosted 8/3/2011 10:12:03 AM
i'm not american so i actually don't care it still looks like an awesome game
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#8Jompy_6669Posted 8/3/2011 2:41:42 PM
Hi, im an American and I plan on buying this game. Even if the conclusions that the TC drew are true and this game IS anti-American...i'm still buying it...I may even ENDORSE it by hanging a poster. who knows?
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#9Pretty_Odd(Topic Creator)Posted 8/3/2011 3:32:12 PM
YermomHoudini posted...
I am betting TC is a tea party member from the south and will only vote for republicans even if the people get voted into office are corporate puppets.

That's nice. I'm from Chicago, but yes I would consider myself a tea partier. I am better you're one of the mindless masses who believe everything our media tell you and think the tea party is full of angry, racist white people, rather than the reality that it is filled with all walks of life who want to get our country back on track and stopping big government... and those who fight against the status quo republicans who only care about getting re-elected just as much as they do the democrats. I could tell you things that would shake your foundation.


JanwayDaahl posted...
The Founders: "Xenophobic" ruling class that wants to oust all non-Americans.

Right, so as not to take up a ton of space I'll just keep this, but I took your whole post into account. Here's the thing. America has always been a nation of immigrants. Especially back then, seeing as all of them were immigrants! There was never a condescending attitude towards people from other countries or of other races, creeds, or religions for that matter. That was the entire point. The exceptionalism was not pointed at people of other countries; it was pointed at the governments of other countries, and the people over there knew it. Rather than desperately trying to get enough scraps to stay alive, they got a new dream of coming to the promised land, becoming an American.

That's the problem with this whole thing. Also you say the Vox Populi is a knock against communism. Are you sure about that? I mean, obviously none of us know where exactly the story is gonna go. I am led to believe they're the freedom fighters from this oppressive upper class and the player eventually joins up with them. Pardon me if I'm completely wrong there but that's the impression I was under. I mean, as soon as I see a Che shirt somewhere, I know they either enjoy communism and the slaughtering of innocent civilians, or they're just ignorant and think it's trendy.
#10JanwayDaahlPosted 8/3/2011 4:44:20 PM
"Right, so as not to take up a ton of space I'll just keep this, but I took your whole post into account. Here's the thing. America has always been a nation of immigrants. Especially back then, seeing as all of them were immigrants! There was never a condescending attitude towards people from other countries or of other races, creeds, or religions for that matter. That was the entire point. The exceptionalism was not pointed at people of other countries; it was pointed at the governments of other countries, and the people over there knew it. Rather than desperately trying to get enough scraps to stay alive, they got a new dream of coming to the promised land, becoming an American.

That's the problem with this whole thing. Also you say the Vox Populi is a knock against communism. Are you sure about that? I mean, obviously none of us know where exactly the story is gonna go. I am led to believe they're the freedom fighters from this oppressive upper class and the player eventually joins up with them. Pardon me if I'm completely wrong there but that's the impression I was under. I mean, as soon as I see a Che shirt somewhere, I know they either enjoy communism and the slaughtering of innocent civilians, or they're just ignorant and think it's trendy."

Vox Populi are definitely meant to represent communists-- to a very potent extent, actually. Daisy Fitsroy, the vox's leader, has an eastern european accent, and their want to give citizenship to ALL citizens is VERY indicative of communist beliefs. Sure, we don't know where the story CAN go, but based on the info given it's pretty lucid as to what they meant the vox to represent.


Also, I think you're going to be COMPLETELY wrong about Booker joining the vox-- and it sorta ties into how you think this game is very anti-American. Booker is in the fray, as bioshock shows the collapse of a society. The vox HAD a pure agenda, to fight for freedom/equality for all, but they resorted to atrocities and lost all sight of their goal.

If anything, as you recall from the gameplay trailer, booker was going to ask for help from comstock, although I doubt that will end well (there's probably going to be some weird twist where comstock is actually the leader of the vox but wants to weaken the forces on both sides down... who knows).



I can't believe you said "Here's the thing. America has always been a nation of immigrants. Especially back then, seeing as all of them were immigrants! There was never a condescending attitude towards people from other countries or of other races, creeds, or religions for that matter." That's dead WRONG. Uh hello, slavery? Americans were generally huge bigots during that day and age, even against Irish immigrants.


In any case, it's trivial to say The Founders is negative propaganda against Americans. It is MUCH better to say that it's negative propaganda against jingoism-- something that The Founders exhibit. Their "exceptionalism," to many may seem like racism, but that's aside the point, since the game just shows them as a warring faction.