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StaceyPowers

My take: The BioShock series was more about free will than free choice

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A lot of people complain that they had no choices/branching endings in BioShock Infinite, unlike BioShocks 1 and 2 because the first games were “about free choice.”

I actually feel like all three games were more about free will. In BioShock 1, Jack had free will, but his choices were too limited to exercise it in full. In Infinite, Booker and Elizabeth had too many choices, and made the decision at the end to restrict them only to those that represented their will. By definition, this had to remove choice from the gamer. And having since learned Ken Levine only wanted one ending for BioShock 1, I feel all is thematically consistent.

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Whenever you are restricted in any way with any game, I would say that you had either free will or free choice in the game because when it's either of the two, you should be able to do exactly what you want just like you do in open world games. 

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The problem with bioshock games isn't that they only have one ending, it's that the ending invalidates your experience, it tells you that everything you did during the game you really weren't in control at all, so it was an exercise in futility.

I think the ending of Bioshock and Infinite are both insulting.

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On 7/31/2021 at 8:50 AM, m76 said:

 

I think the ending of Bioshock and Infinite are both insulting.

I actually have the same deposition towards the game but I wouldn't call it an insult rather it was a bit unsatisfactory. Although, there are some people who don't have any problems with it. 

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On 7/31/2021 at 12:50 AM, m76 said:

The problem with bioshock games isn't that they only have one ending, it's that the ending invalidates your experience, it tells you that everything you did during the game you really weren't in control at all, so it was an exercise in futility.

I think the ending of Bioshock and Infinite are both insulting.

I don't think the ending is about the gamer. It's about the characters and their choices.

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12 hours ago, StaceyPowers said:

I don't think the ending is about the gamer. It's about the characters and their choices.

Exactly - it was never about the gamers which is something that most people get mixed up all the time. 

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On 9/19/2021 at 9:01 PM, StaceyPowers said:

I don't think the ending is about the gamer. It's about the characters and their choices.

In the context it is the exact same thing. The player's actions are the character's,  and if they turn out to be in vain, then the character's actions are pointless as well. Everything you (the player character) does in those games turns out to be a fools errand.

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30 minutes ago, m76 said:

In the context it is the exact same thing. The player's actions are the character's,  and if they turn out to be in vain, then the character's actions are pointless as well. Everything you (the player character) does in those games turns out to be a fools errand.

I didn't feel like their actions were pointless. Booker and Elizabeth succeeded at their goal, which was to eliminate Comstock and the destructive possibilities that went with him. I felt their mission was quite successful, and thus mine was as well.

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1 hour ago, m76 said:

In the context it is the exact same thing. The player's actions are the character's,  and if they turn out to be in vain, then the character's actions are pointless as well. Everything you (the player character) does in those games turns out to be a fools errand.

I think that you have a very good point here because as much as things goes in gaming, it's the players choices that determine what the characters do in gameplay. 

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On 9/22/2021 at 10:06 PM, Head_Hunter said:

Since it's a virtual game the gamer should have the choices of free will or choice. And not the game stars having the free will or choice, because the gamer controls any of the stars.

Yeah - when the choice is taken away from the gamer, personally to me, it makes it a predetermined game end which sucks. 

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6 hours ago, Reality vs Adventure said:

Interesting take on free will vs having choices. I don't think you really have free will if choices are limited. With that said, no game has full free will in the story; the only way you have full free will is if there was no story and just an open world to do as you will. 

Exactly - free will is all about being able to decide what to do and when to do it without any restrictions whatsoever. If it's not like that, then it's not a choice really. 

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