Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Utopian Society: Living a Dream or Beginning a Nightmare?

Note: Everyone knows that I'm a huge nerd when it comes to video games, so this blog is inspired by the upcoming release of Bioshock 2 (which I have pre-ordered).

The great thing about video games is that you get to live out these different scenarios that you can be almost certain that you will never encounter in real life. Some games feel like just games, but the well done ones can really draw you in and make you feel like the location is a real living breathing location. The location I am referencing in this one is an underwater city called Rapture and the idea of really living in a similar place. Those of you familiar with the game Bioshock are probably thinking "Mark, plasmids aren't real and you can't really remove the life force from creepy little girls and use it as your own". I'm throwing those ideas out for this and focusing more on the idea of the city and if it would work.

The idea of the city sounds like a great one (not to mention that I'm a huge sucker for the late 50's art deco style), people from all walks of life move into a city that is removed from the general laws of mankind and given room and board and are able to work on their projects without interruption. Each person carries their own weight. Doctors and scientists do not have to worry about laws regarding such things as stem cell research, cloning, and the moral questions that accompany such studies. Artists are able to work on whatever art they choose without worry of censor.

When you first enter the town you are greeted by a large bust of the founder and a banner that reads, "No Gods or Kings, Only Man". In this town there are no religious standards, there are no censors, and there are no limits.

So, in reality, could this work? I believe that if you had everyone of the same mindset that this is a community and they can add to it and make things better and everyone is truly equal, it may. Maybe I'm being hopeful, or maybe I just want to move to an underwater city where the liquor flows freely (and yes, Rapture has a lot of booze there), but I do think that if we were able to all get along and nobody was acting like a jerk, we would be able to make it thrive... but people are people, that's the only problem. It's all fine and good until you throw emotions in. People get jealous, people get egos, people mistreat other people, and I would give it about 5 years tops before everything begins to fall apart.

When that happens, you start looking at it as a dystopian society where either everything has fallen apart and everyone is at war with everyone else, or the ruling figures have given into their emotions of greed and become addicted to the feeling of power and tyranny and it becomes a war of the people vs. the ruling power.

With all of that being said, I can't wait to go back to visit Rapture again. Would you kindly join me?