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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?

  • If you watch or listen to interviews with Ken Levine, this is something that he is conscious of (his own heritage and that of his characters). What the take away from game is, I am not sure, but I think this is a valuable idea to explore. – SeanGadus 5 years ago
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  • You should watch a gamespot interview with him called "We Can Kill The Industry With Cynicism" - Ken Levine - Bioshock" – Sean Gadus 4 years ago
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