Title

Infinite exceptionalism : the role of the divine in American exceptionalism and its implications in American politics

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

M.A. in Communication

Department

Department of Communication

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Joseph M. III Valenzano

Abstract

This thesis analyzes BioShock Infinite to explore how videogames serve as a uniquely persuasive platform through which political and religious narratives can be forwarded to a segment of the population that typically is not receptive to, or interested in, such messages. BioShock Infinite utilizes the cultural myths of American Exceptionalism and the Frontier Myth to communicate messages regarding the infusion of religion into political and civic life. The messages contained within the narrative world of BioShock Infinite are analyzed, while exploring the implications of such an approach with regard to the cultural views of its players. Analysis suggests that BioShock Infinite presents a narrative world where religious interventionist politics serve as a metaphor for the disease at the heart of America, where the only possible antidote is secular libertarianism. This message likely resonates with the majority of videogame players who tend to oppose religion in politics.

Keywords

Exceptionalism United States Computer games, Video games Religious aspects, Video games Political aspects, Religion and politics United States Computer games, BioShock Infinite (Game) Religious aspects, BioShock Infinite (Game) Political aspects, Communication, Mass Media, Rhetoric, videogame, video game, religion, politics, American Exceptionalism, Frontier Myth, BioShock Infinite

Rights Statement

Copyright 2014, author

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