Bioshock Infinite: The Internal Conflict of its Generic Violence

The notion that a game’s story and its gameplay can ever cohere perfectly throughout the entire experience is virtually impossible to uphold in a medium where authorial control is divided between developer and user. However, the prominence of this dissonance does not mean that a game’s ludic and narrative components should not be interpreted as a whole – for it is only through consideration of this unity that a game can be contemplated philosophically as such. In this study I will consider how Infinite’s violence-centric gameplay loop works to inform our understanding of its main narrative themes surrounding American exceptionalism and the nature of choice, whether positively or negatively, intentionally or unintentionally.