Demented ad for cigarettes in “Bioshock: Burial At Sea”

 

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A couple of weeks ago, I posted something about smoking in video games. One of the games mentioned in an article about smoking in video games was “Bioshock: Burial at Sea.”

Well, I’ve been playing it, and noticed an ad in the game for cigarettes … an ad featuring a pregnant woman.

Now, if any of you have ever played any of the Bioshock games, you know there’s a lot of twisted advertisements in these games … really, openly racist ads, etc. If you understand the Bioshock world, you realize there is a lot of irony and dark views of the worst instincts to be found in current U.S. politics (Libertarianism, Objectivism, white supremacy and anti-immigration bigotry … if anything, the anti-Libertarian and anti-racism messages in Bioshock are more compelling today than they’ve ever been).

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Poster from Bioshock Infinite. You get to kill white supremacists in this game.

So, the ad with the pregnant woman falls right into the twisted, ironic world of Bioshock. “Bioshock: Burial at Sea” takes place in 1958. Is this ad that much different from real ads from the 1950s? It’s only slightly more extreme than this:

There is a lot of smoking in Bioshock Burial at Sea. In fact, in all of the Bioshock games, you can smoke a pack of cigarettes to gain more powers (called “Eve” or “Vigors” depending on the game), but it takes away a bit of your health. I don’t know if there’s enough cigarettes in Bioshock to actually kill yourself, but it would be an interesting experiment to try.

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REAL Camel ad from the 1950s featuring an apparently pregnant woman.

So, while I singled out Bioshock in my previous post about smoking in video games, the game does take a very twisted look back at real cigarette advertising and just how insane it actually was.

 

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