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February 15th, 2010, 15:05
I think the state had already failed on Mill's Harm Principle in the first game, but of course, I get what you mean. Still, Rapture is an interesting thought experiment but I'm not sure I wish to depart with 30+ English pounds for this one just yet. I think going through ME2 recently has also satisfied my shooter cravings for a while.
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February 15th, 2010, 15:23
Originally Posted by woges View Post
Still, Rapture is an interesting thought experiment but I'm not sure I wish to depart with 30+ English pounds for this one just yet.
That pretty much mirrors my thoughts exactly. I'm definitely curious about Bioshock 2, but not enough to ante up the full retail price for a copy. I'll probably wait until I can snag a new copy off Ebay for around $25, which usually doesn't take very long for PC games.
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February 15th, 2010, 15:41
Definitely not worth full price from the bits I've played so far. Too much of an unneccessary rerun …

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February 15th, 2010, 15:48
Originally Posted by woges View Post
I think the state had already failed on Mill's Harm Principle in the first game, but of course, I get what you mean. Still, Rapture is an interesting thought experiment but I'm not sure I wish to depart with 30+ English pounds for this one just yet. I think going through ME2 recently has also satisfied my shooter cravings for a while.
There's two different angles here. Mill advocated against both extreme liberalism and extreme conformity at the same time in On Freedom.

Rapture was founded on principles that was more Ayn Rand than John Stuart Mill. The Ayn Rand style believe the individual should be free to follow his or her own whim in any situation, but never address the problem of people who wishes to use that freedom to restrict others. Furthermore, the promotion of egoism create neighbors you don't want, a society of egoists, where everyone is concerned to get their own needs fulfilled, is a society of tyrants. Tyrants wants freedom for themselves but are never concerned with how freedom should be maximized for others.

John Stuart Mill saw this problem before Ayn Rand was born. He advocated for restrictions on the individual if that meant freedom was maximized as a whole. He also put a great emphasis on social freedom, where the economy doesn't really matter. He had, unlike many British liberals, one leg in German romanticism, with Hegel. Hegel have became the forefather for many who addressed different forms of social suppression/oppression, including Marx, Nietzsche and Simone de Beauvoir. Mill promoted individualism as an universal cause, not to build the kind of society Ayn Rand wanted, but to address the habit of trying to make everyone like yourself. By accepting that people are different, believed Mill, people get less eager to enforce their own norms and wills upon them.

Bioshock 2 is related to much of what John Stuart Mill in his On Freedom counts as problematic. Group mentality, conformity, cult-style power techniques, extinguishing the very idea of individual identity through brainwashing etc. Connections can be drawn to Communism, Religion and Psychology gone bad. The overall philosophy becomes "individualism is bad, we must erase the individual, regardless of the costs".

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
Last edited by JemyM; February 15th, 2010 at 16:51.
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February 15th, 2010, 16:46
Interesting and thoughtful take Jemy - thanks

Because of Bioshock I finally got around to reading The Fountainhead (great book-horrendous movie) and Atlas Shrugged (mediocre book). I like Ann's writing style a lot.

As far as the last game I finished, it was Beneath A Steel Sky. Got if free from GOG and finished the game in 2 days. There were two puzzles that stumped me and I had to go to a walk through but the game was just what I was looking for. After playing RPGs straight since I finished BioShock over a year ago, the old school adventure game was just what was needed.

One note: I had been sick with a cold and an asthma attack, so I really couldn't do anything but play on the computer for the past few days. I'm better now.

However, Beneath a Steel Sky had me a little disappointed in that it wasn't the dark genre defining game that I had been led to believe for the past 15 plus years. I place it somewhere far beneath Necromancer but it was a good game. I don't think it will stick with me though as it has for a lot of players. On the other hand this quicky has me wondering how many of those old school adventures I can complete in a few days time. It's pretty cool to live a game for a short while and complete it quickly especially if the game is real cheap or free.
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February 15th, 2010, 16:49
Yeah, I meant that by allowing the personal experimental free human to interfere with public society is Mill's nightmare (maybe that is too extreme?). I can be a terrible hyperbolic at times. Someone has Hobbe's Leviathan in their tag, that pre-dates Mills, and has something along these lines also. I'm sure a concept as fundamental as freedom could be traced back to the classical Greeks. I'll certainly bow to your more knowledgeable take on philosophy though.

I'm reading an extract of Isaiah Berlin's 'Two Concepts of Liberty' which is where my philosophical knowledge of the two types of freedom inherent in Rapture. Not only does Rapture look good but it is built in the actual time when the positive and negative freedom came close to destroying each other. A pity that all the game really mounts to is saving/claiming a set amount of little sisters per level really.

Is the game still just set pieces when you do actually get to talk with some of the populace?
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February 15th, 2010, 17:32
Originally Posted by woges View Post
Yeah, I meant that by allowing the personal experimental free human to interfere with public society is Mill's nightmare (maybe that is too extreme?). I can be a terrible hyperbolic at times. Someone has Hobbe's Leviathan in their tag, that pre-dates Mills, and has something along these lines also. I'm sure a concept as fundamental as freedom could be traced back to the classical Greeks. I'll certainly bow to your more knowledgeable take on philosophy though.

I'm reading an extract of Isaiah Berlin's 'Two Concepts of Liberty' which is where my philosophical knowledge of the two types of freedom inherent in Rapture. Not only does Rapture look good but it is built in the actual time when the positive and negative freedom came close to destroying each other. A pity that all the game really mounts to is saving/claiming a set amount of little sisters per level really.

Is the game still just set pieces when you do actually get to talk with some of the populace?
Bioshock 2 doesn't deal with Hobbes either. It's not really about political philosophy at all, but puts greater weight on psychology, social psychology and cult psychology in particular.

Communism was a romantic movement that speaks directly to the trapped human heart, with a very strong belief that the ultimate goal is good for all. Nazism as well was very suggestive, playing with emotions with the ultimate goal of good. Many cults starts out as striving for a good cause, speaking directly to emotion, only to go bad. B2 deals with mass manipulation, personality cults, rhetoric, how masses can be polarized against it's opposition etc, but it's also on how the ultimate goal of "good" can go wrong.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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February 15th, 2010, 18:15
Yes, perhaps so, but I still think there are plenty of politics in Ayn Rand's & Andrew Ryan's philosophies. It's not like cult like entities do not exist in church & state, or do you mean that Bioshock 2, in particular, looks more in cult psychology?

Edit: Maybe I should have read that first paragraph again, sorry, I'm be badgered around atm.
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February 15th, 2010, 18:30
"B2 deals with mass manipulation, personality cults, rhetoric, how masses can be polarized against it's opposition etc"

This still sounds like it has its roots in political philosophy to me. Like Stalinism or Nazism (as you say), but, in the case of Rapture's removal from dominant society, the cultists have become the dominant society/state. In Rapture surely the two would be interconnected?

The first alludes to that's impossible to achieve the absolute removal of the world around you; seen by the smuggling and religious items that appear as you explore. What you would be doing is shifting more power to small groups as the dominant groups are smaller in number.
Last edited by woges; February 15th, 2010 at 18:48.
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February 15th, 2010, 18:52
Originally Posted by woges View Post
This still sounds like it has its roots in political philosophy to me. Like Stalinism or Nazism (as you say), but, in the case of Rapture's removal from dominant society, the cultists have become the dominant society/state. In Rapture surely the two would be interconnected?
Marx socialism, Smiths economical liberalism and Mills social liberalism was coherent systems that had things thought through in almost all aspects. They are deeply rational and one could almost say "scientific".

What Marx, Smith and Mill have in common is their great emphasis on rationality, with rationality comes science, the emphasis on what can be seen, optimization of the known system etc, but they usually leave out the emotional realm, the existential questions. Each of them came into being before Freud.

If you analyze at Stalinist soviet, Mao's china and the nazi movement from a rational perspective you might discover that they lack a coherent system behind them as if they are made up on the go. There's little in form of structure and consistency in them, instead they seemingly sway back and forth, exploiting the situation through symbolism and powerful emotions through suggestive language and rhetoric.

What these powerful movements had to offer was a meaning for the individual, at least for the few lucky the ideology have chosen. All they ask in return is submission to it's abstract cause. Religions are also masters of this realm, so are sects, cults and anyone who learned how to manipulate peoples inner powerful drives to do their bidding.

The closest you come to analyze these drives from a scientific standpoint is psychology. The old rational political philosophies didn't understand them, even if Hobbes spoke about fear and Marx about alienation. We still don't know how they work, but anyone with some experience with psychology know that humans aren't rational beings (which Smith, Mill and Marx presumed).

The way they are connected is that rational political philosophies often reject the value of these emotions, where as the more emotional political movements often reject the rational political philosophies. Rationality will reject religion, religion will reject rationality. And if you are a rational person, but know how to exploit peoples emotions, you can start a cult and get the mass to do your bidding, without ever presenting a coherent system.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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February 15th, 2010, 19:32
Freedom itself is an emotive word, but I'll agree, of course, some political philosophies are constructed on better foundations and justified with more thought and evidence. Coercion to follow lesser systems (or one man in particular) is not limited to those systems though. Psychology as a discipline was born from Philosophy no?

In simple format, is what I call bad politics/extremism what you'd call a cult? On the basis of unsound reason or harm that they cause.
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February 15th, 2010, 20:05
Originally Posted by woges View Post
Freedom itself is an emotive word, but I'll agree, of course, some political philosophies are constructed on better foundations and justified with more thought and evidence. Coercion to follow lesser systems (or one man in particular) is not limited to those systems though. Psychology as a discipline was born from Philosophy no?
Yes. Psychology have borrowed many ideas from philosophy.

Originally Posted by woges View Post
In simple format, is what I call bad politics/extremism what you'd call a cult? On the basis of unsound reason or harm that they cause.
I use the word "cult" when speaking about Bioshock 2 because there's obvious references to cult worship in the game.

On the question though, do I compare your bad politics / extremism a cult? No. But cults tend to exploit similar emotions that evoke extremism.
And many communist experiences failed thanks to them developing into personality cults worshiping the leader as something of a savior.

The pattern is a struggle for an egalitarian and "equal" Utopian society gone wrong when people elect a charismatic leader to lead the cause, giving that leader tremendous power that he/she either cannot handle, or exploit. We have seen it happen in communism, we have seen it happen in religious sects that lacks hierarchy (protestantism in particular), I have even seen it happen in a libertarian group (that I am not a member of). I have even ran into this myself in an online game, where incidentally I happened to be the leader. This was before my interest in psychology though. Like many people in that position you are dragged into a trap your own goodwill created, in which you must suddenly deal with problems that the whole "everyone's equal" just cannot handle, and instead of revealing the truth in the open, you have to play subtle powergames to make it appear like you haven't given up the ideas the society was founded on.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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February 15th, 2010, 21:12
Ok, I guess you're pretty similar to me on the use of the word. I guess I need to play the game to continue the discussion though.
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February 17th, 2010, 19:15
Golden Axe Warrior
I saved a walkthrough for this game 2004 with the intention to play it, but it's first now I really did. The primary reason to do it now was to try out a new Sega Master System emulator on the PSP with a rewind feature, while my main computer was preoccupied with other tings. Also, spending 3 hours per day on a bus gives me more reason to dust off my handheld.

I lived up in the 8bit era, yet there are very few games that I would consider playing beyond those that have some kind of key recognition, such as a famous franchise or tremendous praise.
If anyone haven't heard about the original arcade game Golden Axe, it was one of the best known sidescrolling beat em up games in the end of the eighties. Three heroes, Ax Battler (male barbarian), Gilius Thunderhead (male dwarf), and Tyris Flare (female barbarian), took on the evil giant Death Adder that use the magical Golden Axe to enslave the king. The Amiga version of Golden Axe was my first game on Amiga 500 so you may say I have a special relationship with the title. Recently a new Golden Axe known as "Beast Rider" was released, starring Tyris Flare, but it flopped.

Anyway, Golden Axe "Warrior" takes most key elements from the story of the original game. You do not play the characters from the first game, but you do meet them, and when you do the music from the Arcade game actually play in the background as an added touch. Beyond them giving you a couple of lines and there are some villagers to speak to there's not much story going on.

Gameplay is completely different from Golden Axe though. GAW is one of the most thorough clones of Nintendos Legend of Zelda ever made. Not surprising considering Sega Master System wanting to copy Nintendos most sucessful game, more surprising was that SEGA wasn't sued their asses of for it. They even later made a blatant copy of Zelda II for Game Gear known as Ax Battler, but that's another story. In GAW you walk around on an overland map, kill monsters for loot, and search for ten mazes which need to be beaten to finish the game. There's also special equipment to be found that unlocks new abilities which usually means going where you couldn't go before, a long with upgradeable weapons, more health and more magic.

So is it worth playing? I say no. If you are curious, you should probably play Zelda instead. Not because Zelda is a better game, no, they are almost identical, but because Zelda have sequels, some of which have been tauted "best game evah". But do play Golden Axe 1-3 on Sega Master System if you like retrogaming. They are overall more entertaining.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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February 17th, 2010, 19:30
I used to have GAW for my Master System. It was a lot better in 1991.

As far ripping off Zelda though, it wasn't the most blatant attempt, not by a long shot. That honor would belong to a game series called Neutopia for the TurboGrafx 16.

Neutopia

Neutopia II
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February 17th, 2010, 19:32
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I used to have GAW for my Master System. It was a lot better in 1991.
It's still one of the better games for the system.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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February 18th, 2010, 20:46
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
A few years back I made a decision to try some of the more esteemed game series out there. Some of them include Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy and Resident Evil. Another series I wanted to continue was Zelda, and since I already played Zelda I it was Zelda II next. I begun to play Zelda II on a Pocket PC emulator, but eventually I grew tired of the game, dropped it and decided to try it again later on.

Thanks to the new rewind features in recent emulators I decided it was time. I had saved the savegame and I was able to move it over to the PSP. I was about half way through and I played the rest today. The Rewind feature made an almost impossible game very simple.

So was it worth it? Not really. Zelda II is a bit too old. There's almost no story development in the game. You can talk to villagers, but they are usually just giving you a badly translated oneliner. However, now I can move on to Zelda III without feeling bad about leaving the second game unfinished.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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February 19th, 2010, 00:08
A Link to the Past? And you've never played it before? I envy you.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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February 19th, 2010, 04:27
Bioshock 2- Was a pretty decent shooter with a bit of a Big Daddy gimmick, was alot shorter then the first one though(finished the first one in around 20 hours, this one clocked in at around 7-8). The story wasn't as intereasting and felt a bit thrown together.
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February 19th, 2010, 05:20
Originally Posted by beans View Post
(finished the first one in around 20 hours, this one clocked in at around 7-8).

Yikes… that's 'Call of Duty' type length.
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