"No Gods or Kings. Only man." The banner that hung in the atrium of the bathysphere terminus where BioShock's protagonist began his adventure was the first thing to grab my attention and pull me into that world. I first played BioShock as a high school freshman back in 2007. For a teenager who thought he was smarter than everyone and had just started reading George Orwell and Ayn Rand, BioShock was the perfect storm of a game for my younger self.
It also served as my introduction to the PC-style shooter. Up until college, the bulk of my gaming was on a console, so games like Deus Ex and System Shock were foreign to me. While BioShock's impact on console shooters is undeniable, I couldn't help but wonder if its themes of exceptionalism and the story of Ryan's utopia free of government control would resonate with me the same after eleven years.