Sean and I have talked on many occasions about our love for the video game BioShock (2007). We’ve played the story countless times, devoting hours and hours of gameplay to get all the achievements and discover little unnecessary elements and easter eggs that add to the story. However, we only knew the story of Jack, the main character that you would play as. We wanted to do a project on how the story would be different according to an integral part of Rapture (the underwater city), the Little Sister. Her outlook on life below the sea is completely distorted. And while Jack interacts with Little Sisters numerous times in the game, we wanted to shine some light and dive deeper into the character.
Our creative process was generally simple. We brainstormed ideas until we fell upon a video game-themed project, and knew that we should devote some time to fleshing out a new story for our all-time favorite (BioShock). We decided that Instagram would be the easiest platform to use because it clearly shows the pictures and allows us to add as much text as we need to tell the story behind said picture. With guidance from our professor, we decided that we would also mock-up the pictures and captions using notecards before doing a final post on the app.
By using Instagram to tell this story we could hit a couple different characteristics of
writing for digital media. For example, we made sure that it was hyper-textual by including a link explaining what/who a Little Sister is right in the header of the Instagram account. Additionally, we posted comments under certain images that link to video game play showing Little Sisters in these areas, even though they are only seen through Jack’s eyes. We also included links to various Etsy pages that allows the user to even buy replica advertisements, weapons, statuettes, tshirts, stickers, and prints associated with what is being referred to in the picture.
It is also interactive because of how you can “like” the images, comment your own thoughts on the Sister, or browse through the many included hashtags to see what other people post about the world of Rapture. It can include collaboration of what other people browsing the hashtags will find, especially when using #littlesisterofrapture, which was created just for this story. Using the hashtag #Bioshock will also yield all of our pictures to come up. Also, it is unknowing collaboration with the creators of BioShock itself. Lastly, it is in a sense remixed because we took an original story in this universe and created an entirely new one from our own ideas of how a Little Sister would act.
The story is meant to be read from the last (oldest) post to newest (first), but it does not really matter either. Each person has their own story to the mind of a Little Sister in the first eight posts, highlighting all the main characters that the Little Sister would run into. Since her vision of the world of Rapture is so distorted, we tried imagining how she would actually see them and refer to them. Most are positive, such as Mr. Bubbles, Tenenbaum, and Jack, but others have confusing roles to the girl, such as Ryan and Fontaine. The Little Sisters are essentially kidnapped little girls, bred to hunt for ADAM and feed the money-hungry industry of Rapture that supplies powers to plasmids and other physical upgrades. The interesting thing I find about her character (and what drove us to create this account dedicated to her) is that she’s incredibly important to generating money for entire city, even though she’s just a little girl. The city even went to the trouble of genetically-engineering protectors for her that were bonded for life. Unfortunate that the circumstances and motives were so backwards, but it’s weird to see these harmless little girls full of innocence stuck in this horrific, gory and violent city. It kind of makes the player feel genuinely better about themselves once they save her in the game (unless of course the player decides to just harvest her, which I find incredibly cruel).
Finally, we wanted to tell the story of a Little Sister, an important part of the game. We wanted to create a sympathetic emotional response from those who saw the story. These girls are just that – little girls who have been unfortunately taken advantage of. The personality of our project is sad but educational. Our own identities of what we think right versus wrong is (harvesting or saving) and how we feel about how certain adults take advantage of the sisters are shown. Each media (links, images, text) adds another deeper level into this world of Rapture. Users can connect into it and see how horribly it must be to live as a Little Sister here. The language used in the captions are reflective, as if each character or area had just been interacting with the Sister and these thoughts are in her mind.