Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Does Bioshock (2007) serve as an examination of Jewish identity?
In the first Bioshock game, a large number of characters have Jewish names (Dr. Steinman, Sander Cohen), are outright identified as Jewish (Andrew Ryan, Brigid Tenenbaum), or come from fields/careers with a strong Jewish population (Broadway, medicine). The creator of the Bioshock series, Ken Levine, is himself Jewish, and the game takes place only a few short years after World War 2. This causes me to wonder: for Levine, was this game, in part, an examination of post-WWII Jewish identity? Does it point out hardships or condemn/commend personal choices? The game’s overarching theme, if nothing else, is that choices matter and are our ultimate freedom ("A man chooses, a slave obeys"). How is this theme connected with the strong Jewish characters throughout the game?