Since I have an upcoming essay about video games and their art I decided to put some research into art within video games, This only naturally lead me to the Bioshock series. As each instalment has its own way of showing the art deco style it has, from Rapture to Columbia.
The underwater city of Rapture was built as a final showcase of humanity’s perfection, complete with giant statues which sit among the walls and above doorways linking back to medieval times when suits of armour littered the hallways of a kingdom to symbolise the king’s power. This makes sense for the city of rapture as built by capitalist in the game from looking around you can see how Rapture fell as being a city built to control people would eventually come crashing down. This theme is reflected in the art style of the game as while wondering the game’s world you will commonly find pointless statues and monuments, that while rapture was in use would have been used to create the impression of a ruling class who the common people must obey. The dark setting in the game also links to how while in its prime, Rapture would have still been a dark place to live with little freedom, which is directly contrasted in Bioshock Infinite’s city among the clouds symbolising freedom and endless space, where as underwater you would feel suffocated and trapped, much like the citizens of Rapture must of felt.
The skyward city of Columbia from Bioshock infinite directly contrasts the city of Rapture as Columbia being a city above the clouds so colourful and happy versus Rapture which as sank below the deep sea, broken, in ruin and full of mystery. The art of Columbia represents the world which the people live in, a fake happiness, while everything seems peaceful and fine much like the whole place points to. However, once you look underneath that happy paint you see a strict ruling class where the difference of happiness and power are seen very clearly and once you notice these things such as separating poorer people from the rich you start to notice how the poorer regarded places begin to have a sense of nakedness with fewer items of luxury and less defined building designs.