I've been thinking a bit about Bioshock 2, wondering why I don't say have the same impression of impact from Borderlands or Modern Warfare 2. While I would normally dismiss any differences based upon unique title IP design, I kind of realized why Bioshock made more of an impact on me...so I decided to write about this and see where it takes me.
It's because I knew the world...or at least read about it in High School. Almost all public schooled individuals remember having to read The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye as Cliff Notes had been out for a while and teachers new what questions to ask that weren't in the notes, and wikipedia was just a dream.
NOTE: Catcher made a much bigger impact on me at the time. Gatsby came later.
Now I can't make the claim that it's the setting as I'm not old enough to have lived back then and can only make the claim of movies, which is entirely a different thing than living through that period. But Bioshock covers not just the above two novels that had to be slogged through but also The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. (Not read until much later, seems to have less impact on me.) In fact, out of all the books I've read, Holden Caufield is still the name I recognize that isn't based on the Bard most readily.
So when I reflect a bit on creative elements, apart from the 'strong forces' of game play, UI, etc. I find myself oddly nostalgic about a game released recently simply for the story it tells, the imagery it constructs, and the manner the narrative is conveyed. (The weak force)
I wonder if Marin would be interested in a Grahm Green pitch, i.e. The Third Man? (Open sandbox / detective) Or The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann? (Third person platformer)
The real point of this though is that Bioshock mined me, my experience, and not just the setting or character design. (Though it certainly helped.) It makes me long for a place I've never been to or seen.
The weird thing is I haven't thought like this in ages. It feels odd, unsettling...like I was back in high school...