We are entering into a time when the world of Bioshock becomes less far fetched. Genetic editing technologies such as CRISPR have the potential to seriously change the game for all of us and as science fiction comes closer to being science fact, we need to be aware of the benefits and the dangers.
While I think we are some distance away from an informed public discussion Bioshock has in three games provided a window into that past that might have been that informs the future that could be.
In this episode we look at the ways in which science (and science fiction) does not exist in a vacuum. The ways science can be implemented are very much informed by the rules of the society that the innovation is created in. Societies tend to be complex with shifting moral boundaries. Rapture is at the extreme, abandoning conventional wisdom and government in favour of industry and the market. In such a world morality is not only flexible, it can be completely absent.
This is not to say though it isn’t without it’s advantages. The reality is the development of genetic technologies of the type used in Rapture would only be possible if you took away many of the restraints that exist in our world.
It has to be said that human advancement is often fastest during wartime where morality tends to take a back seat to necessity.