When we talk about BioShock’s underwater city of Rapture, thoughts immediately drift to its founder, Andrew Ryan. His objectivist beliefs are modeled after author Ayn Rand, and his history shares elements with hers.
“If you dig into the audio logs, Ryan was born in Russia (much like Ayn Rand), he was middle class (much like Ayn Rand),” Levine tells me as we begin our conversation. When the Bolshevik revolution happened, his family business was destroyed. That was a defining event for him: the nationalization of all these industries, his family business was destroyed, and Jews weren’t exactly beloved in Russia to begin with, but especially a Bourgeois Jew.”