Bioshock is a first-person shooter game that came out in 2007. It’s takes the player into the underwater city of Rapture built by Andrew Ryan, who has the dream of creating a utopia away from land that isn’t ruled by government, religion, and ethics. This utopia, like any other story, quickly becomes a dystopian society. The player comes to rapture after a plane crash in the middle of the ocean and the first thing you encounter to is the same speech that everyone who came to rapture listens too. This speech is what I will be laying out in this blog of how it is a great example of Neo-Aristotelian.
The Rhetorical Situation: We first need to figure out a couple of things before we dive into Ryan’s speech and how he persuades people to live in his city. One, who is the speaker? The Speaker is the Businessman Andrew Ryan the man who created the city. Two, who is the audience? That would be the player in the game, and is also the citizen who now populate Rapture. Third, why does the speech begin given and what is the exigence of it? The speech is begin given to persuades like-minded people that they are begin held back by government, religion, and ethics. In this speech, Ryan has acknowledged that people are begin held back and have already taken action to fix it by creating Rapture, he just needs to persuade them to come. The Fourth, what are the constraints? Ryan’s obstacles are people who aren’t like-minded to him.
Now knowing what the Situation is let’s break it down on how Ryan’s speech is successful by breaking it down to the five canons. First invention. Ryan is asking the audience, “Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?” he then answers it three times back-to-back that you aren’t entitled to it, but someone else is. He then explained how he has fixed the issue by showing the audience Rapture and right after that gives a couple of examples of people who can live there with no fear of oppression. He uses artistic proofs to support his claim. He makes the audience question why their hard work is going to someone else and not to them. Then he shows his creditability by showing you Rapture, that his dream is a reality and you too can join him. Second, his arrangement the way he structures his speech. He first introduces himself and then ask the question followed by his answers before he gives his solution to the problem. He takes a moment before giving his answer. Then he continues by giving a couple of examples. He cuts it into three parts, first being question, second being the answer, and third begin examples.
Screenshot from Bioshock, 2007
Third his style. It one of charisma and dramatic. He keeps his voice in the same tone, but puts emphasis on a couple of words like every time he says, “No” and “Impossible”, and “Rapture” to capitalize on those words to persuade people that his idea is the city. Fourth is it memorable. During his speech, he shows the audience visuals of the problems, before he goes on to show us Rapture and when he says each one an image is there to have word association with image. And the Fifth, Delivery: Even though he isn’t present, his voice carries the speech well making his points on the problem and the solution, without raising his tone makes him seems calm, but he knows when to emphasize certain words to reinforce his ideas and taking pauses to add suspense to his next word. Also showing you thought images and showing the city itself when he says it in his speech helps drive home his idea.
The overall effect and implications of Ryan’s speech is right away he has people coming to live in this city that he created on the ideas in his speech. The long-term affect of it is really easy to know because the player shows up after the rapture has turn dystopian. That his idea of not being held down by government, religion, and ethics is the sole thing that destroys the city
Source: Bioshock. Irrational Games. 2K Games, 2007.