Growing Up Geek: Ken Levine’s Origin Story

Sid Shuman // Senior Social Media Specialist writes:

"After introducing gamers to one of the most talked-about games in a console generation — BioShock — Ken Levine became something of a big deal in the game industry. By infusing his games with socio-political overtones, sympathetic characters, and ambitious art direction, the Irrational Games president and creative director earned a reputation for creating smart games for smart people, influencing a generation of video game developers in the process. And now, the Boston-based developer is deep into development on BioShock Infinite, a game that has already earned widespread attention for its focus on weighty themes such as xenophobia, American Exceptionalism, and civil unrest.

I know Ken pretty well, as far as these things go, but I’ve always wanted to learn more about his background: where he came from, what it was like for him growing up, and how he came to be an unabashed lover of geek culture (which manifested itself in a spirited defense of geeks in the pages of Game Informer magazine). I recently caught up with the man to delve further into these topics and, hopefully, catch a glimpse of what makes him tick."

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Trainz3146d ago (Edited 3146d ago )

So this guy gets all his 'fame' just because of bioshock?
Bioshock is the most overrated game this gen even more so than infamous.
It had a cool atmosphere but that is it.
I predicted the twist too so I wasn't like wow when it happened.

@LightofDarkness He is big headed in all his interviews and insults other developers styles. He has done close to nothing this gen, just got lucky with bioshock (which was mediocre at best).

LightofDarkness3146d ago

Wow, you've really got it in for Ken.

But he had made his mark long before that, with Thief (co-design), System Shock 2 and the Freedom Force games. ALL critically acclaimed and even a little ahead of their time.

So you can scratch that little criticism there, what else do you have?

Animals_as_Leaders3146d ago

I don't know why people hate him for calling out cookie cutter stories in gaming.

In most games there are only a few archetype stories and they rarely differ.

Dioshock was a game set in an alternate reality in the 50's in an underwater city called rapture and was a haven for genetic engineering experiments...

I think it's safe to say that it shattered the mould in a lot of ways.

If anyone can comment in the sorry state of story telling in games it's him and I'm sick of modern game's story lines.

There haven't been many interesting or moving stories this generation at all.

Just because you enjoy a games does not mean the story was great. Most games only stand up because of the action. But when it is backed up by a good narrative it is much more engrossing.