Bioshock Infinite Vigors in an Idealized Society: Why?
Bioshock Infinite Vigors, do they really fit in this world?
So I did not have the money to buy this game when it came out. I would have hesitated anyway since I am not through the first game, however I really won't have funds to purchase this game for a while. Since it isn't a true sequel I thought I would be safe watching videos of the game to hear the story. I really could not have been more mistaken, however I was lucky in that instead of ruining the game for me it just made me all the more interested in actually playing through it for myself. But let us not allow me to get all sidetracked, this isn't a discussion of the gameplay and how worth it the game is or is not. This my observation about a discussion going on all over the internet about Vigors, and how they do or do not fit into the game. So far the consensus is that they do not.
Spoilers are a given, please be aware and click away if you don't want to be spoiled.
Just in case:
The basic premise of the game is that the very substance of the universe has been torn by the actions of these few people who are conducting experiments in these universes. Torn enough so that matter can transfer between the 'worlds' of the 'universe'. These are the words I'm going to use for these incidences, so that I don't have to continue to use quote marks or explain what is going on. Basically Comstock and his Lutece have done experiments that have made Comstock unable to have children. He convinces Lutece to open one of these rifts in the universe to take a child from an alternate version of himself, a down-and-out, desperate version. Now in a way this makes a bit of sense, this child is still basically from his genetic material. However, pulling her through the rift imbalances the fabric of the universe in such a manner as to cause it to tear visibly and audibly in several areas throughout Colombia. This is the important part for our purposes.
So a man named Albert Fink has discovered that by paying attention to these rifts in space he can hear music he has never before heard in his life, and no one else has heard these songs before either. So he comes up with a plan to listen to these songs and release them as his own compositions. These songs are artfully displayed throughout Colombia, much as candy is displayed before Halloween. I have to say that, not only is this a well thought out idea, it is really well utilized. Going through the game you think, wow I know that song, its being sung in a very old-timey way but it is a song that I loved a few years ago!
Albert tells his brother, Jeremiah Fink, how he is coming up with these songs, and next thing you know he is creating technological wonders beyond what should have been possible in this time. Many of these technological wonders mirror things familiar to the players of the first Bioshock, having been stolen and recreated whole cloth from things observed through the tears from Rapture itself.
Albert Fink Presents:
Arguments Against Vigors in Colombia
The arguments against Vigors has been that Plasmids made sense in Rapture, society had degenerated to such an extent that people messing with their bodies in a desperate bid to try to make their lives better, easier, or just less sucky made sense. They had no hope left, it is said, it makes sense that they would be willing to gamble with their very lives and sanity. This does not make sense in idyllic Colombia, or so the argument goes.
Plasmid Advertisement In-Game
Arguments for Vigors in Colombia
I'd like to argue that, in fact, it makes perfect sense based on the way this city has evolved. The citizens of Colombia have been taught that they are the chosen people, chosen because they follow the Prophet. They have been chosen to alter the world, and the whole world is supposed to fall in line with them or will be destroyed. They believe they are better than everyone, and even have a near slave race to serve them, just to ingrain this belief even further. They have such a sense of entitlement they do not hesitate to take ideas from another universe and utilize it to create an even more evolved and entitled utopia for themselves. The do not hesitate to even consider the consequences of taking whatever they want from these tears, they barely even question the tears themselves and what it might mean on the state of their universe to have the very substance of what makes the world to be so unstable that you can hear and see the very fabric of the world.
Evolution in a Bottle
These are the very people that would see something like the plasmids and think to themselves, "That is something that would be neat to be able to do, I want that." Consequences? What are consequences to the people chosen to follow the prophet!? Since the Prophet cannot fail, his followers have to be untouchable, right?
What do his followers need to fear, since the Prophet already knows he will succeed. Therefore his people will believe that in following him they will themselves not need to fear failure. People who are already assured success, and people who believe success is not possible, those people are the ones free to try anything. They have nothing to lose, at least in their own minds.