"Anyone who has new or valuable ideas to offer stands outside the intellectual status quo.
But the status quo is not a stream, let alone a 'mainstream'. It is a stagnant swamp.
It is the innovators who carry mankind forward." -- Ayn Rand
BioShock will be Ken Levine's magnum opus. It will be his career defining game. It's ambitious, unusual and aggressive, mixing the high polish expected of a "next generation" shooter, with equal parts storytelling, politics, and philosophy, all wrapped up in a bloody, underwater, 1940's bow.
Some months ago, Gamerswithjobs.com spent a day with Levine and his team at Irrational Games in Quincy, MA. It was a chance to see the game first hand before they were really ready to do any "hands-on" with the press, but mostly it was a chance to talk to one of the industry's more interesting developers. See, Ken Levine believes he's blowing the doors off the first person shooter genre, and he's daring you to prove him wrong. But mostly, he's asking you to think.
Ken Levine, the creative director at Irrational Games, is one of those storied industry personalities like a CliffyB or a John Carmack. The difference is, he doesn't really make anything normal, nor does he have weird hair or an attitude. He makes, well, irrational games. Games that don't make a lot of commercial sense.