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Rumors have been floating around the web about a potential Bioshock movie. Specifically, I read a post on the potential movie on slashdot. Essentially, 2k Games made an agreement with Universal for the rights to the movie. Names have been floated around as to who might direct. But all of that is premature considering how unlikely it is for a movie to be made. For those ignorant of the game, Bioshock is a game made about a crumbling underwater city, founded by a wealthy industrialist in an attempt to establish a utopian, objectivist-based city.
As much as I enjoyed the game itself, I must confess that I was rather dismayed to hear it might be made into a movie. First, the game itself features somewhat complex ideas which, while not necessarily focused specifically on philosophy, are unlikely to be included in a major studio released movie. It’s far more likely that the questions of free will and morality which dominated the game would be stripped down into some simplified caricature. But that’s not what really worries me. The major moral dilemma of the game centers around a group of brainwashed little girls which play host to a parasite that produces Adam. Adam is a substance which allows for a person to alter their genetic structure, which then allows the person to gain “super powers”. The “Little Sisters” as they are called, are protected by large, diving suit clad guardians called Big Daddies. The player must destroy the Big Daddies, at which point they are confronted with a choice. Remove the parasite, causing the girl to die, or “heal” the girl, destroying the parasite but restoring the little girl.
As much as I would love to believe that the people in charge of making this film would utilize such a powerful moral act, I can’t help but believe it will be thrown away. The film studios prefer to traffic in comfortable cliches, not powerful moral questions. Even if the studios were true to material, it’s even more likely that the film would be attacked as being morally reprehensible and rated as NC-17 by the film rating board, thus dooming the movie to a re-edit. It seems that any Bioshock movie would be doomed from the start to be a simplistic, boring movie as a result of our inability as a nation to deal with complex moral issues, especially one as difficult as destroying the life of a child in the interest of one’s own self-preservation. I hope I’m wrong.


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