BioShock Infinite is, if the trailers didn’t tip you off, a game that tackles some pretty heavy political themes both new and old, most of which are centered on American politics. The game tackles American exceptionalism, religion, race, and more.
Despite the fact that BioShock Infinite isn’t even out yet, the game is already on the receiving end of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum–and even beyond.
BioShock Infinite creator Ken Levine, in an interview with PC Gamer, said that he’s already received complaints about the hot button political topics we’ve seen from the game so far, and the perceived portrayal of conservative and liberal ideals.
“Trust me, I get tweets,” Levine tells PC Gamer. “When I started working on this game, relatives of mine were very offended, because they thought it was an attack on the Tea Party. Specifically an attack on the Tea Party, which they were very active in.”
The complaints weren’t just coming from the political right, however. The left criticized the game for its supposed disdain towards labor movement, and Levine says that he was even on the receiving end of harsh words from white supremacists.
“Then, when we sort of exposed the Vox Populi people, I saw a lot more left-leaning websites being like, ‘This is trying to tear down the labor movement!’ I remember that I saw postings, unfortunately, on a white supremacist website, Stormfront, where people literally said, ‘The Jew Ken Levine is making a white-person-killing simulator.’”
Levine and developer Irrational Games are no stranger to political controversy. The series creator says that with the original BioShock, Objectivists were “infuriated.”
“BioShock had the same thing, where you had Objectivists being infuriated by it, and people more on the left thinking that it was a love letter to Objectivism. I think these games are a bit of a Rorschach for people. It’s usually a negative Rorshach. It pisses them off, you know?”