Click "Sleep" for a dark background.
Click "sleep" again if text isn't dark.



Look. Don’t Touch.

Like Marxist criticism, the most successful Feminist critique of a game involves analyzing how the range of player functions that affect female characters directly or indirectly reveal the operations of patriarchy. When the player is encouraged or forced to play in a way that depicts men as strong, rational, protective and women as weak, emotional, submissive, and nurturing, then the game can be said to support and reinforce patriarchal genders roles and ideologies. Patriarchal values work to oppress women, and all feminist theory and criticism works to promote women‘s equality. A Feminist analysis can become more complex when finding examples of actions toward women if a game doesn’t feature any women or the game allows for limited interaction with women. Writing essays about such games often leads to finding evidence by absence. In other words, a Feminist critic’s central piece of evidence may be what can’t be done to women instead of what can.

BioShock depicts women as weak, emotional, submissive, and nurturing and men as strong, and protective thus conforming to traditional patriarchal gender roles through its fiction, narrative setting, and the limited range of interactivity with the female characters.

In the first twenty minutes of playing BioShock, the player is forced to exist through the masculine context of a first person shooter when he/she acquires the pistol. Guns are commonly thought of a phallic symbols of masculine power, and being set in a game and a world where the perspective is aligned down the sights of one’s weapon centers the point of view to one of violence. As I have delineated in the New Classical essay on BioShock, shooting is the primary function. In other words, shooting, or in general combat, is the action the game achieves significance and meaning from. To beat BioShock, players have to be ready to fight not indirectly, not with words or emotions, but in physical, violent, direct combat. This male centered point of view is compounded with the idea of the male gaze: the idea that the man looks, and the women is looked at. Under the male gaze, the man has the power to define, explain, and take control of the world around him. And in BioShock, the player (who may have passively assumed the role of the male character at the game’s outset for lack of an alternative) actively controls the world of Rapture through their directed gaze. All interactive objects in the game get “named” when the player aims their view at it, or “gazes” at it. And without regard or regret, the player takes whatever he wants. Wine, chips, power bars, money, EVE, ect. With every item the player gains access to a short description and instructions on how to use it, thus the player effectively names, explains, and takes control over the world of Rapture under his/her gaze.

It starts with the commodification of the Little Sisters. As I’ve detailed in my Marxist essay on BioShock, the player is taught to think of the Little Sisters as an object of financial gain. In this case, it’s not money that is up for grabs, but the more rare Adam. Like the patriarchal male, the Big Daddys have no other function, but to wander around Rapture protecting these Little Sisters from harm. It is clear how the male/strong female/weak patriarchal ideologies are exhibited here. When a Big Daddy is removed from the picture, the little sister is left as a prize for the taking. Literally, the player snatches the girl up in one hand like an object and proceeds to either save or harvest her. With either choice, the Little Sisters resists crying out “No. NO. No!” In these mini scenes, the male protagonist overpowers the Little Sister, paying no mind to her cries. Even those who consider themselves kind hearted choosing to save these Litter Sisters, by repeatedly ignoring the “no” the player asserts his/her dominance through force. The choice of rescue or harvest is what many believe to be the central moral choice in BioShock. Regardless, the manner in which the player obtains this power of choice reveals a flaw or weakness in Tenenbaum’s character that unfortunately stretches the believability of the plot while reinforcing patriarchal ideologies.

Initial impression of Tenenbaum depict her as a woman whose life style flies in the face of the patriarchal woman. As a scientist, Tenenbaum is both logical and rational. Furthermore, when first introduced in BioShock, she is seen firing a pistol at a splicer that was hopping to harvest a conveniently unprotected Little Sister. This initiative gives her character a clear sense of protectiveness, another quality that is attributed to males in traditional patriarchal views. However, even within this initial encounter, Tenenbaum begins to artificially morph falling into the patriarchal gender role of women.

As we learn throughout the game, Tenenbaum is very protective of her Little Sisters. And like her introduction scene shows, she’s even willing to fire upon others who seek to harm her little ones. I find it strange that just moments after firing at one man’s attempt to reap precious Adam from a Little Sister, Tenenbaum becomes unwilling to fire at the next (the protagonist/player). While this change of heart benefits the player, the shift in Tenenbaum’s behavior is clear. Instead of defending the Little Sister with her pistol once more, Tenenbaum attempts to convince the player not to harvest the Little Sister by appealing to their emotions: “have you no heart.” Appealing to emotions further positions Tenenbaum into a more traditional patriarchal female role. By giving the player the power to rescue or harvest, Tenenbaum effectively relinquishes power over the very last thing she seeks to protect down in Rapture. In such a short period, Tenenbaum moves from exhibiting the active role of the protector, to the passive and submissive role of one who watches as her fate is decided by a man .

Throughout the rest of the game Tenenbaum guides the player through various tasks and objectives. She tells the player what to do, and the player does it. Simply by playing through the game, the player fulfils the typical patriarchal male role of a strong, proactive, decisive force. A obvious counter argument to this assertion is that all the characters in the game communicate through messages on the ACCU VOX personal voice recorders including males characters like Ryan, Atlas, and Cohen. This is true, however, the difference between Tenenbaum and all the other male characters is, the player never meets Tenenbaum face to face, and there isn’t any significant interaction between them according to the hierarchy of functions (see New Critical essay on BioShock). When the player first meets Tenenbaum, she’s positioned on a balcony high above the floor that removers her from the scene and obscures her from the player. The balcony also prevents the player from getting close to her and standing face to face as equals; a stance of equality. Towards the end of the game, when the player is rescued and brought to the hidden orphanage where the cured little sisters live, Tenenbaum can only be seen in a dark room and obscured by glass. When players finally meet Ryan, Atlas, and Cohen, it is face to face. Also, the player can interact with these male characters through shooting or some other act of violence, which is BioShock’s primary function. Even though changing the world of Rapture through physical violence supports the traditional view of males according to the patriarchy, shooting and violence is still the most meaningful and significant action for BioShock.

Tenenbaum’s acknowledgement of her femininity is revealed gradually through her voice messages. In these messages, she comments on her personal, internal transformations in regard to her feelings towards the Little Sisters. Tenenbaum acknowledges that she is a woman, and she recognizes her maternal instincts: “These children I brutalized have awoken something inside that for most is beautiful and natural, but in me, is an abomination…my maternal instinct.” By the end of the game, Tenenbaum becomes a regular “Mother Goose” as Fontaine refers to her as in a derogatory way. By embracing her emotions and assuming a strong nurturing role that not only takes care of these little girls but the player as well, Tenenbaum fulfils the traditional patriarchal role of woman. The Mother Goose name stems from the collection of stories and fairy tales that are most known for such stories as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Though these stories have been told, tweaked, and rewritten several times, all versions feature women that are virginal, submissive, weak, and dependant on the heroic, possibly violent, actions of a male character in order to save them. In this way, the Mother Goose stories reinforce the same patriarchal values that are evident in Tenenbaum’s transformed character.

Rapture is a place where all offensive, non-aggressive plasmids are advertised toward men, not women, through cartoons advertisements that reinforce patriarchal gender roles and the overpowering of women through force. In the short cartoon advertisements for the decoy, telekinesis, winter blast, and vortex trap plasmids, a man is depicted as using plamids against women, some of which are even depicted in house clothes wearing an apron or aggressively wielding a rolling pin. Images like these show that for the people of Rapture, women are expected to work in the home doing tasks like cooking and cleaning. In the telekinesis cartoon, a women is shown in clothes that reflect “going out on the town.” However, in the cartoon she’s throwing a wine bottle at the male character. We can infer from the character’s expressions that the women is out of control and therefore probably intoxicated and the man is just an innocent victim of abuse. Perhaps, what is worse about this particular cartoon is how the short male figure uses force to counteract these women. Upon retaliation, the males have a smug “you had it coming” expression on their faces. In the examples where men are attacked with plasmids, they are dressed more formally reflecting jobs and activities that exist outside the home. The men that are shown range from football players, police men, (well dressed) thieves, and business men in suits. Though both men and women at attacked in these cartoons, the subtle differences in their depictions expose the patriarchal workings.

Rapture is a place, perhaps an all too familiar place, where science and surgery are used to bolster one’s cosmetic appeal. It’s a place where women like Diane McClinktock looses all attention from powerful men like Andrew Ryan after suffering physical damage to her face: “Ryan didn’t come to see me since the New Year’s attack. Not once.” And later, after being mutilated by Steinman, Diane is stood up by just about everyone: “Stood up! Again…Second time this week.” It’s a world where doctors like Steinman convince women like Diane with promises of beauty: “He told me once the scar tissue was gone, he was going to fix me right up. Make me prettier than any girl I’ve ever seen. He’s sweet all right.” Dr. Steinman revealed in one of his private recordings that he has grown “tired” of surgically altering each female patient to the same “ideal” form of beauty: “I’ve spent my entire surgical career creating the same tired shapes, over and over again: the upturned nose, the cleft chin, the ample bosom.” For Rapture’s women beauty is serious business as evident by the words smeared in blood on the walls in at least three separate locations within the Medical Pavilion: “Adam denies us any excuse for not being beautiful.” And the pursuit of this beauty is endless and empty as Steinman admits: “I am beautiful yes. Look at me, what could I do to make my features finer? With Adam and my scalpel, I have been transformed. But is there not something better?” In the end, after being angry at the “bandits and terrorists” that caused the attack in the first place, Diane contemplates telling them how they “ruined everything” for her. She practically admits that without her looks, she’s nothing. She considers confronting the responsible people not for justice or revenge, but so that maybe she’d “feel better.” Once again, the emotional woman falls in line with patriarchal view of women.

Rapture is a place where women like Anya Andersdotter uses sex to drag information out of men: “I had to go jungle-style with that filthy ape for three weeks, but he finally spilled the beans.” It’s a place where honest business propositions and scientific ventures like those of Tenenbaum’s, are scandalously mixed with sex: “Why a guy like Fontaine would waste his time with that spooky Kraut when he could be getting’ the gravy from any dish he chooses is beyond the understanding of this paparazzi” - Paparazzi. It’s a place where beauty makes you a women, and if you don’t have that, then you’re just as well off as the monstrous splicers. It’s a place where women are forced to play in a man’s world according to his rules, and there’s nothing the player can do about it. And what’s worst of all, Rapture is a place that is like our own in many ways.

« [insert game here] Discourse | Main | Sorry Sister. It’s just business »

Reader Comments (14)

Sorry. Had a few typographical errors. Reposted:

I liked your article in many respects - it fits very well in a (constrained, which is fine!) vision of oppressivist feminist discourse. Your examples are pointed and concise, and I think they serve exactly the focus of your article.

However, and I add this critique for the purpose of opening up dialogue and not simply criticism for itself, I'm not sure how this article allows me to understand what makes a video game meaningful for a player? I understand that this is not the point of your article of course, but if I'm to get any insight into the nature of video games and their relation to real human players, it must be from the perspective of a real, living, human player and not from the perspective of a discursive judge. To make my point more clear, where is the insight that would come from an analysis of the experience of playing this game? The same exact game could be taken and re-analyzed through the discourse of misandry - and would yield just as few understandings. Put differently: different players will have different experiences of this game, and to purely criticize through interpretations of its symbolism does not yield any new understandings.

What seems most important to me is asking the question, "If we accept this interpretation of feminism and its criticisms of BioShock, how do people experience the game? Can a woman thoroughly enjoy the game? Be transformed by it? Can she recognize her own gendered life in terms of male oppression? What about men? Is this just another chauvinistic romp into the domain of boys? Do some men find the game an oversimplification of maleness? What enjoyment or wish-fulfillment is granted by BioShock? Is that a gendered thing?" The list of worthwhile questions could go on forever.

I suppose the question remains, what was your point? Did you haphazardly choose a random game that you chose a random discourse to attack it from? Or did that choice come from a deep-seated discomfort with the kind of perspective that this game offers? If it's the former reason - it seemingly renders such analyses meaningless, because they have to include some kind of human stake or motivation.

I've written too much. I just thought that this article was good, and needed a critical response since nobody has bothered to comment yet. I hope my suggestions haven't been too incisive - they are not critiques of your work, but critiques of a more general problem suffered by discursive analyses.

January 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris


I'm glad that you took the time to say everything that you did. Your cogent comments will allow me to respond to the issues that you raise all the more clearly. Here I go...
(I'll take it paragraph by paragraph)


P2: You're right. Looking at the game from an interpretive stance will inevitably exclude some of the possible ways a player might read/interpret some of the material. While this is true of the fictional/story/plot elements I addressed, when I discussed the limitations built into the structures of the game brings up an area that isn't up to debate or interpretation. What I'm saying here is the game limits the players from the interacting with the female characters in a way that only allows for players to act in a way that supports the claims raised in the essay.

I wanted to stay as far away from analyzing plot and "story" because those areas do lend themselves to a significant degree of interpretation. I wanted to detail the limitation of the players interactivity to support my case. However, BioShock is what many would call a "story game" meaning that it's story (plot, premise, narrative) is what people value most from the game (a result that falls right in line with the aims of design a game according to Western Game design). While writing these essays, I went through a moment of doubt. From my research and the nature of the game BioShock, I knew my Marxist and Feminist essays would be my weakest in that they would have such issues that you have pointed out. But, I decided to try anyway if nothing else but for the challenge.

P3: You proposed excellent questions. I want to start by saying that (ignoring my interpretations of the games fictional elements) if we look only at the interaction allowed between the player and female characters, and measure the level of interaction according to the hierarchy of functions in the game, then completing (beating) BioShock means, in many ways, accepting and internalizing certain values and ideologies. As a player that is trapped in a game forced to play by the games rules, when the game's rules say "act like a chauvinist" then the player has no choice (even if they secretly resist in their own mind).

What I tried to say in my essay was, when you get through beating BioShock, (along with learning ins and outs of the game) you also learn a specific way to treat women. Like the saying, you can't go swimming without getting wet; you can't journey through Rapture without having some of the values and ideologies rub off/influence you in some way. How can we tell if it's actually gotten under your skin? You beat the game didn't you (I assume)? Also, the rules say so.

P4: I was disturbed by the world of Rapture (as should we all be for one reason or another). At the same time I was intrigued on how the game rubbed off on me in its subtle and (previously) invisible way.

Thanks again

January 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKirbyKid

I don't know if you did this on purpose or it was just a slip, but you called Diane McClinktock "McCuntock." Regardless, it seems inappropriate in the context of such a discussion.

March 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBobby


Thanks for catching that typo.

March 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKirbyKid

I think Bioshock's treatment of the Little Sisters 'dilemma' was done horribly badly, and I'm not a particular fan of the game, but I think you're ignoring quite a bit of subtext here.

Most importantly -- the main character in the climax of the game is revealed to be a victim of mind-control, which should prompt the player to reconsider the values the game seemed to force on the character.

September 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjohn t

@ John t

Whether the main character is under mind control or not, the game still features content (forms and actions especially) that communicate ideas through their implications.

Just like when studying a literary story or a poem, the events in the work don''t dictate how to view the content, rather they color it by adding an additional perspective to consider. For example, if I wrote a story about a guy who takes great pleasure in melting wedding rings down but in the end it was all a dream, we wouldn't assume that the dream makes all of that content irrelevant. It's quite the opposite. We would strongly consider that this person is afraid of marriage or likes to destroy marriages.

BioShock is a game with a lot of content to look at. This essay merely looks at a part of the game and draws some conclusions about it. I didn't ignore the subtext. I focused on the context/content.

September 6, 2009 | Registered CommenterRichard Terrell (KirbyKid)

Very well constructed and argued, raising issues I hadn't considered before whilst playing (I was one of those 'story-centric' players!).

Still, I do take issue with the argument of the gun as a representation of masculinity, specifically its relation to a phallic object. While I can appreciate the visual analysis of such objects if the artists intention is very specifically to invoke certain imagery, the stock association of gun = man is a deeply flawed one that does not hold in any field other than a sociological look at how a player might be lead to interpret certain actions and images based off previous use of said images in other media. Certainly with authorial intention or relating imagery/action within the game it might be a valid reading, but I don't believe that is the cast here.

Whilst indeed there is a wealth of literary history, archetypes that loosely supports the suggestion that a first person shooter is inherently "male centered", I feel such an interpretation is reductive and assumptive, and incorrect application of those specific analytical theories. Ignoring the fact the player's avatar is indeed male, there is little in the actions that seem wholly of one gender. It might be argued that traditionally, the fighting, solider-like role has been adopted mostly by men, but using that as a basis for labelling a methodology of interaction within a game is at odds with what I would consider the 'spiritual goal' (apologies; trite, I know) of the feminist theories and their application (however I can only speak from a literary understanding of the theories, so I could be wrong), reducing both genders to woefully specified roles before deconstruction of the media has even begun.

September 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSpoilerDuck

Let us set aside for a moment that fact that this game was created to make money and be entertaining. This was a very poorly constructed argument, you have disproved your own points in multiple instances. As a woman and a feminist, I am actually insulted by many of the things you have said.

The game's genre is first person shooter, which by definition means you shoot things from a first person perspective. Arguing against the genre is tantamount to complaining that gasoline-powered engines require gasoline. Yes, of course they do...

Your continual insistence that first person shooters are inherently "masculine" is baffling to say the least. How is this so? Should women not play/enjoy first person shooters? Should women not operate guns? Should women not hunt? Not eat meat? Should women not engage in aggressive sports or wear pants? Are these pursuits too "masculine" for women? It would seem that you are the one painting women into a "feminine" corner here, not the game.

You seem to be trying to straddle both sides of the fence, saying that both strong, decisive female characters and weak, dependent female characters are sexist. To that point, your entire argument is based on antiquated assumptions about what defines the "feminine" and the "masculine".

You chastise the game for incorporating a "strong, proactive, decisive" female character that "fulfils the typical patriarchal male role". In the very next paragraph you claim the same female character fulfils the "traditional patriarchal role of woman" by being nurturing and embracing emotions. What a bizarre temperament shift!

Later you mention the "out of control" and "intoxicated" woman abusing the "innocent victim" the man. Is this all part of that larger patriarchal model?

I think it is quite tenuous at best to say that the world of Bioshock is "a man's world" considering that by your own account the strongest and perhaps most influential character is Tenebaum, a woman. You recapitulate in the last paragraph, that "women are forced to play" and "there's nothing the player can do about it", this may wrap up your confused article with a little bow, but that however does not make it true.

I for one would love to play now; I'm always up for a strong, female lead, there are far too few of them!

September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

@ SpoilerDuck

It's really much simpler than you think (or what I assume that you're thinking). Take this made up example. In a game, let's say that you need coins to buy stuff and eventually win. If the game gives you coins for handing male characters guns and female characters pots/pans, wouldn't it be obvious that the game is in some ways supporting the patriarchal gender roles? Even if the game's fictional/narrative content preaches that men and women are equal, this gameplay system would be contrary to that idea.

So, in BioShock, it's not that being a FPS automatically makes it a male centered game but that it's just one element that can support that larger idea of BioShock's gender bias when grouped with other supporting evidence. It's not that my application of the theory is absolute, rather, that it's just one way of looking at the game that should be fairly clear when looking at all the parts.

At some point, to make a point I had to established a few ideas and define them. If you have a problem with the idea of the male gaze, or patriarchal gender roles that's one thing. You're free to think otherwise. Perhaps you should write an essay of your own. That's how essay writing works. You and I can write something on different sides of an argument and still have wonderful, well written papers.

I feel that what I'm saying (ie. what side I'm "on") isn't as important as how clearly I can communicate and support my claims.

@ Lisa

Though you're free to feel how you want there's no reason be be insulted.

I wouldn't say that I'm arguing against the genre, but merely pointing how how the conventions and structures of the genre can support the patriarchal gender roles in a more subtle manner. The game slaps a gun in your hand, says "act like a man," and rewards you for doing so. The role that the player must play fits with the patriarchal male. This is the basic idea of essay.

The essay points out the roles that are in the game (both interactive and non) and how they are portrayed. The whole point of writing this essay was to point out how the game supports traditional patriarchal gender roles. OF COURSE they're antiquated notions.

If you're going to state that I "chastised (to criticize severely)" the game, then it would be good to dig up some quotes. This is a formal style essay. I didn't pass judgments on the game or the ideas it proposed in the body of the essay. The point was to bring some of these ideas to light by arranging them side by side.

After reading through you comment again, it seems to me that you didn't read through my essay closely enough. Many of your statements show a real lack of close reading, which makes your comments more difficult to respond to. It seems that you don't understand how essays work or how to support your claims.

So I'll just leave it with this... if you want to play some games with strong female lead characters try Mighty Flip Champs!, Drill Dozer, Bangai-O Spirits, Super Monkey Ball, or Pokemon to name a few.

September 8, 2009 | Registered CommenterRichard Terrell (KirbyKid)

I am a woman. This whole argument is ridiculous.

Women naturally are more submissive, we're mothering, nurturing, and lack the testosterone that makes men the hunter-gatherer alpha-males.

I for one am proud of being a calmer, more controlled female than a cocky, brutish instinct-ruled and animalistic male.

I do not parade as an 'equal opportunities freedom fighter' of sorts just so I can have my own access to the disastrous monstrosities that are men's vilest creations - money, material wealth, success, power.

I admit and yield to the science of who and what I am, and I make the most of it.

Men and women are not the same - physically, emotionally, intellectually. That does not mean we do not have the same inherent rights to freedom, providing out freedoms do not infringe upon that of any other's, but it does mean that men will - on a general consensus - embrace violence in computer games and cinema and enjoy fast cars and football, where women might not.

Perhaps you should look into Susan Greenfield, a well-known neuroscientist (and Director of the Royal Institution) who even went as far as to say:

"Women, statistically speaking, function less 'mindfully' than men, or, putting it less euphemistically, less 'intelligently'. It cannot have escaped even the most ardent feminist's notice that it is men who are the focused, the possessed, and the obsessed. It is men who push forward the boundaries of science, music, technology and art. It is men who build great cities and great religions. It is men who tinker well into the night, studying and prising apart the boundaries of even the most obscure and intractable. I know one man who spent six years studying locust legs. And, to the extent that intelligence is based on factors in the environment, as opposed to genetics, or based upon learning and studying, as opposed to 'emotionalising' (and, so, losing 'mind') then the intelligence of men must creep forward more quickly, and further, than that of women, throughout their lives - because, statistically speaking, they choose to take on more of the intelligent-provoking 'environment', and they interact with it in much more of an objective and emotionless way (i.e. with more 'mind').

When it comes to intelligence, men have got what it takes. They drive in straight lines, they focus their attention, they do not multitask, they obsess, and they do not spend so much time emotionalising.

And they actually increase their intelligence by doing such things.

And the whole species benefits from their pursuits."

February 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

@ Sarah

I don't think the argument/thesis is ridiculous. But I think I know what you're saying.

I believe you take issue with the philosophy/viewpoint of the patriarchal women. And you should. There are a lot of different types of men and women in the world. Stereotyping and pigeon holing them into types like the patriarchal woman/man is ridiculous to us.

However, even if we think so, a creative work doesn't necessarily share our viewpoint. The thesis of this essay clearly states that BioShock is a game that depicts women in the old fashion stereotype. Regardless of how you feel about that depiction, the essay is clearly written with plenty of quotes and examples in support. It is not the only way to interpret BioShock, but hopefully it's a persuasive essay nonetheless.

Thanks for taking the time for sharing your viewpoint though, even if it's a little harsh on males.

February 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterRichard Terrell (KirbyKid)

Okay, let's get serious for a moment here. This article is complete CROCK. History lesson: During the 40's Women were treated like shit. That's how society worked. I hate to say it, but that's a fact. Rapture is a city that was raised during the 40's and as such the inhabitants are going to act like people from the 40's. Secondly, you're whining about guns being too masculine? Would you rather you spent the game cuddling the mutated insane freaks of nature? Unfortunately every game can't be Fallout 2 where you talk your way out of situations. Look, I understand that you're upset about something, but please stop pushing this feminist glass ceiling crap. Do you understand WHY that one woman had sex with that man three times to get info? It's because she was using her looks to get what she wanted. This isn't a debate of the feminine identity, it's a classic example of a woman in a 40's Utopian Society who used what she had to get what she wanted.

You've actually depressed me by how much you looked into this. Seriously, a woman throwing a bottle at a man with telekinesis means she's drunk and out of control? What if she's just USING TELEKINESIS? Why are you so intent on creating a glass ceiling for yourselves if your ultimate goal is to break it? Please please PLEASE grow up.

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjarnww

Also, guess what? Rapture is the perfect example of a NON-patriarchal society. Woman and Man are both able to be whatever they want and pursue any of their goals without fear of censorship or ethics. This is THE WHOLE POINT OF THE GAME. I can't believe you missed that. Plus you left out the little bit where uh, Tannenbaum is a Doctor and a child prodigy, several engineers and doctors are female, and in the second game it is revealed that one of the higher-ups of Rapture was indeed a brilliant female psychologist. RESEARCH.

Oh yea, and regarding how women dress in Rapture: were there any female football players in the 40's? Were there many women in business suits in the 40's? Were there equal gender rights in the 40's? No? THEN WHY BITCH ABOUT IT? Bioshock, along with the Fallout Series, is a PERIOD PIECE. It is meant to mirror the culture of the time. Fallout was an example of 50's Utopian Society, i.e "The World of Tomorrow". Put on Pre-War clothes as a male in Fallout and you'll dress in a suit. Put on Pre-War clothes as a lady and you'll wear a dress. Where's all the anger towards that game? Oh right, it's supposed to be based off of an old desired world from the 50's. The same goes for Rapture. Bioshock takes place in the 60's, but the city was built back in the 40's. Some things are not gonna change.

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjarnww


Thanks for your response. But I doubt you read my essay carefully, I doubt you read through all the comments, and I doubt that you even know about all the others who have written counter arguments that are much more articulate, polite, and elegant than your response. Here's the link..

You read my essay for emotion, not for argument. I'm not upset at all. I don't like BioShock that much, and I don't write many critiques in the feminist mode. This essay was mainly an example of how it's done. In it I make a argument, which is
of a specific viewpoint of the game, and support it with examples.

Everything you said is obvious. But that doesn't mean simply stating it explains away the game, gives it an excuse, or does anything to counter any of the arguments I made.

Reading comprehension is a must around here. I suggest re-reading it, and all the information I liked to.

I'd be more than happy to listen to what you have to say after you do your homework.

February 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterRichard Terrell (KirbyKid)

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>