Ayn Rand isn’t everybodies cup of tea and I see it as somewhat ironic that before a movie was made about her book Atlas Shrugged there was the Bioshock series.

Objectivism as a philosophy has some good points, that we should deal with (objective) reality, that the world can be objectively defined and we should make living a happy life our primary goal.  Where it falls down is that it offers one way to get there – free market capitalism (without government).  Call me crazy but if that was a model destined to be a winner we would already have trialled it already.  The fact that such as system really hasn’t gotten off the ground anywhere (or at least not without massive exploitation) says maybe putting the capitalists in charge of their own destiny is probably not going to work.

The limit of any belief is the point at which idealism is overwhelmed by reality.  The fact that Andrew Ryan (like so many before him) doubles down on his ideology in the face of clear evidence that his ideology was failing is pretty much the ultimate in human responses.  When reality fails to meet your expectation, adjust reality, not your expectation.

Personally I think Bioshock give Objectivism a pretty good hearing highlighting both it’s potential (Rapture) and it’s serious flaws (letting the inmates run the asylum).

Bioshock proves that Games are a legitimate art form and can be an active part of science fictions engagement with the audience, to have a bigger conversation.  Is it perfect, no, but then what is.  Does it succeed in giving a vibrant window into a philosophy many will not have heard of?  Yes.

In truth I can’t really find great fault with Andrew Ryan other than he like so many others before him was blind to what was right in front of him until it was too late.  As a cypher for a particular ideology, a man whose sole reason for existence was to be the mouthpiece of Ayn Rand, he falls to his own hubris, rather than the specific failings of his ideology.

Would you kindly forgive his failings and give the game a go.


Review Date
Reviewed Item
Bioshock 1
Author Rating

Highway To Mars

Welcome to Martian Central, please take a ticket, the sheep ray will be with you shortly. Highway to Mars was created by Author Stefan Sawynok as an excuse to ramble his way through Science Fiction that he liked and to shine a light on things such as books that don't get covered all that often in fandom. Mostly covers British and American sci-fi but occasionally steps out to cover pieces from around the world. There is so much Sci-fi out there and so little time. :)

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *