So I’m playing through BioShock: Infinite right now with the intensity of a man who knows exactly what his impending fatherhood means for his video games hobby. And I’m enjoying it. A lot. In fact, at the moment I have the sneaking suspicion that this might end up being one of my favorite games of all time. I’m only 45 minutes in.
Apparently some people have a problem with the forced baptism at the beginning of the game. I’m not sure I understand their complaint, especially given all the killing that the BioShock games expect you to do. It seems to me that if you don’t mind incinerating people, or calling upon a murder of crows to come and… well, murder them, then getting dunked in a pool of water would be the least of your concerns.
The people making the biggest stink about this are apparently Christians. As a Christian myself, I have to wonder whether this is the only video game they have ever played. Our faith doesn’t exactly emerge as the hero in too many games (I’m pretty sure that Final Fantasy Tactics suggests that the apostles were all demons from another dimension. Yeah.). Besides, as creepy as the faith of Columbia’s (Infinite’s floating city) residents is, parts of it aren’t that far off from the sort of faith that came out of the Third Great Awakening. Actually, the baptism scene reminded me of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? The problem the game suggests is (again, I’m only 45 minutes in) that faith has been paired with Nativism. This was a real problem for Christianity at the turn of the 20th century. It still is, in some respects.
Anyway, I’ll post more about the game as I get further in, but I’ve already experienced (and perpetrated) a great deal of violence. The baptism was creepy, but if that’s what bothers you about BioShock: Infinite, you might need to reevaluate some things.