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BioShock Infinite character 'highly altered' after talking with religious team members

by Steve Watts, shacknews.com, Jan 21, 2013 8:30AM PST

The name BioShock Infinite had us scratching our heads upon announcement, but it might just be the most appropriate title for the game. The more series creator Ken Levine talks about it, the more it seems to be about everything. It carries some religious themes along with its other big ideas, but Levine says some of those were "highly altered" after he took some time to talk with religious members of the studio.

"It's very important for me to understand a certain aspect of the religiosity of the world," Levine told Official PlayStation Magazine. "That's where I tune in as a non-religious person. ... I had some very valuable conversations. One of the characters in the game was highly altered based upon some very interesting conversations I had with people on the team who came from a very religious background, and I was able to understand they were kind of upset about something."

He says the team doesn't shy away from difficult subjects, but wants to treat them with the proper amount of weight. "I think that we had a similar conversation about Bioshock 1," he said. "It involves infanticide, I don't think there's a larger taboo in the world. There were people who were very nervous about that. We didn't have that because we thought it would be cool. My feeling was if it's not just there to be exploitive, if it's true to the story and you’re telling something that you think is honest, then everything has a place."

Levine says this doesn't mean the story has changed, just refined. "What I said to them was, 'I'm not going to change anything to get your approval, but I think I understand what you're saying and I think I can do something that's going to make the story better, based on what you said.' So I did that, and I'm grateful for them bringing in their perspective. The last thing I wanted to do was change something because it offends somebody, but the thing they pointed out was making it a lesser story."

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