BioShock’s Meta-Narrative

Check out my published chapter on BioShock!

Pointon, C. (2015) BioShock‘s Meta-Narrative, in BioShock and Philosophy: Irrational Game, Rational Book (ed L. Cuddy), John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.


DOI: BioShock’s Meta-Narrative          Print ISBN: 9781118915868

Video games and Philosophy; I was on my home turf with this publication. Working in e-Publication for two years at Marquette University’s Library, I dealt with Wiley-Blackwell more than any other publisher. They’re probably the largest publisher of scholarly works in the English speaking world. I feel a special kind of pride, consequently, that I’m in their database now as an author.

You can read a summary of my chapter (Chapter 1, no less!) at the link above. For a different summary, hear you go:

There’s this incredible video game called BioShock that came out a few years back. It is amazingly good, both in terms of addictive fun and in having a meaningful story that sticks with you. It was so good they made two more: BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite. It’s been such a popular franchise, that publishers actually paid people (like me) to write about it. And publishers want to do this because they’re damn sure people (like you?) are going to buy books about stuff they already like.

Now it turns out that popular culture and philosophy is a Ender's Game and Phillucrative combination. There’s been, seriously, a few hundred books on “This hit TV show, movie, game, etc. & Philosophy.” Here’s another one I wrote about.

I think it’s really a no-brainer. I like BioShock and I like philosophy. Anyone who says those two things is the target demographic. OR, you might have a friend or relative who likes video games and philosophy…and wouldn’t a signed copy of this make a great gift?

So what’s my chapter about? BioShock has a mega plot spoiler–the kind that makes you curse loudly, and then have to leave the room because your mind is blown like you ate a steak burrito topped with farm fresh magic mushrooms. It’s so good and unexpected that I figured THAT is what I want to write about.

And when I did write about it, I found tons of connections to cognitive science, philosophy, and ethics.

It did help I had already written my thesis for my BA in English Lit on BioShock (“BioShock and the Artistic Value of Video Games,” 2011). In fact, my professor for my Thesis class emailed me recently. She was incredibly excited that I had published on the topic she helped me with four years ago. Thank you for all your help and support Dr. Levin!

About C.P.

Collin is a professional writer and scholar. He holds an MA in Philosophy and a BA in English literature. His philosophical work has appeared in print published by Wiley/Blackwell and Open Court. More of his writings, philosophical, literary, comic, and just plain nonsensical are available online. He currently lives in Seattle where he is writing science fiction, dressing up for Cons, and wreaking havoc on his opponents (npcs and tabletop humans alike).
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