BioShock is a video game that tells the story of the underwater, super-human city of Rapture that undergoes the transformation from an envisioned united utopia to an anarchistic dystopia.
The game explores the decimated city of Rapture through the eyes of the game’s main character, Jack, who survives a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean.
Constructed during the 1940s by objectivist and business mastodon Andrew Ryan, the city of Rapture displays a fictional utopia wherein society’s elite can live secluded from the government and the rest of the world. As a result of the scientific discovery of a genetic plasmid material “ADAM”, which grants super-human powers like telekineses and pyrokinesis, the city of Rapture exhibits a super-human and arguably a posthuman society, all of which is uncovered throughout Jack’s journey.
BioShock can thusly be considered a story that establishes a vision of an underwater, biotechnology-enhanced society that in its attempt to become a utopia of super-humans succumb to class dispute and oppression through the use of the enhancing bio-technology, ADAM, which demonstrate the potential dangers for biological inequality, class division, dehumanisation, and abuse of power through enhancing technologies.
“To be human is to desire,” Badmington claims, “but to desire is to trouble the sacred distinction between the human and the inhuman” (Herbrechter, 2008)
Stefan Herbrechter & Ivan Callus: What Is a Posthumanist Reading? Journal Article in Angelaki, Vol. 13, Issue 1, Pages 95 – 111, 2008: http://stefanherbrechter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/What-is-a-Posthumanist.pdf