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Objectivism in BioShock

  • Ben Murnane
Chapter

Abstract

Ayn Rand is regularly referenced or put to thematic use in American popular culture. One of the best-known examples of a Rand-influenced product is BioShock, a videogame that takes players inside a “utopia” founded according to a version of Objectivism. In BioShock’s plot, Randian morals and ethics lead to civil war and dystopia; the game is a work of posthumanist science fiction, featuring mechanical technology and biotechnology with the power to bestow superhuman capabilities. Murnane establishes background to BioShock by demonstrating Rand’s prevalence within popular culture, as well as her use of the tropes of utopia and dystopia, which the game in turn draws on. The main analysis shows how BioShock uses Objectivism itself and posthumanism to interrogate Rand’s capitalist ideal.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WicklowIreland

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