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Sethy's blog

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Sethy avatar 10:46 AM on 04.16.2013  (server time)
Violence is the new mint

Is Bioshock Infinite too violent or is talking about how violent a first person shooter is the new mint?

The colour mint is/was the colour to have in fashion. Every fashion conscious person was either wearing it or talking about it. What does violence in Bioshock Infinite have in common with fashion? If you think about it once a "new trend" takes off everyone is talking about it. I have a friend who loves fashion. She will watch fashion tv all day and talks about fashion all the time. When mint became a must have colour for fashion enthusiasts it was all she could talk about. That is all I know about fashion. For the record she also dragged me to see the Twilight movies...

So now we have Bioshock Infinite's violence as a must have discussion. Some feel that the beauty of Columbia is wasted by the acts of violence. They feel that the experience could have been so much more if the violence was toned down. The game could have been art if it was not for all the blood displayed when beheading Booker's enemies. The game could have been shown to family members who have no interest in gaming if it was not for the violence. Those are the opinions of some internet folk. Not everyone agrees though.

I do not agree that it is too violent. At most the game is gory due to the blood splatter but that can be expected when a character gets beheaded. I must say though that I do not condone violence in life. I am against violence when it involves people and animals. When it is pixels on a screen and it fits in with the genre and story of the game then I am okay with violence and gore.

I think some people still hold to the idea that a video game can only be taken seriously as art if it does not include violence. If there is violence involved then it simply cannot be art. Why can't it be art? Would you tell an artist who paints a depressing scene filled with blood that his or her creation is not art? Normally you would not.

Booker DeWitt is not a saint. He is not a peacekeeper. Booker had a violent past. He resolved issues with violence. He was compensated for it as a Pinkerton, at the battle of Wounded Knee and Peking. Booker's world is a world filled with violence. It is all he has known for some time. This relates to another trend, immersion. People talk about how the immersion is broken due to certain aspects of games.

In Bioshock Infinite you are in this beautiful floating city but everything is not as it seems. Comstock's men will do what it takes to stop you from saving Elizabeth. Cornelius Slate's men will also do what must be done for a soldiers death. The Vox Populi is so desperate for change that they will not invite you for tea and a scone. They are desperate and turn to violence for change. Would you be immersed in this violent world if rainbows, unicorns and puppies flowed from wounds? No it would break the narrative as Booker is in a dangerous situation. If Irrational Games toned it down then some people would most likely have said that the fighting is unrealistic because there is hardly any blood.

The violence and gore in Bioshock Infinite made Columbia so much more believable and at times more emotional.

Thats my first blog entry done. Please feel free to leave a comment and if possible some constructive criticism.

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