Perhaps it’s cheating to scribble down an essay about the industry’s arguably most developed character; when you consider the level of storytelling sophistication were used to, anyone else’s morality seems to be governed by an irrational need to be evil Because Motives.
Andrew Ryan’s villainy stems from his genuine desire to make the world a better place; his ultimate goal is to offer fairness in profit to the humanity’s most creative and to ensure that there are no limitations to their work. His selflessness and determination make it possible for him to not only set up a closed off and largely self sustaining underwater city, but he does so without immediately seeming like a Fucking Nutcase. The true testament to his success is how no one turned to him and said “What would you like to do after you take us all scuba diving for the rest of our lives? Carve a talking leopard of Plasticine?”
At no point is he swayed from doing what he thinks is best for Rapture’s culture and ongoing development, any action that he takes is to ensure the safety of the world he’s created. Certainly, he makes some massive mistakes in this attempt, but he doesn’t do anything bad because he’s “evil”, only because he sees it as a necessity.
So good is Bioshock’s storytelling that this is pretty much in parallel to the game’s player morality system; the choices you make in dealing with Rapture’s Little Sisters.
If you’re killing a little sister it’s probably not because you’re a Total Douchebag -though we won’t rule that out- in my case it was because I truly believed that doing so would benefit my goal more than leaving them alive. I wasn’t sucking the life out of little girls because I liked doing it, I hated doing it, but there were more important things at stake.
Gosh. I guess this actually became “Why I Wank My Dick Off To Bioshock So Much, By Pillowfort Age TwentySomething and a Half”. To close, I guess, Andrew Ryan is my favourite villain because he’s the only one that’s actually written well enough.