The Hero’s Journey (Vogler 2007, p. 8) is a 12 stage narrative pattern refined by Christopher Vogler from Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Campbell 2008). This theory can be related to a multitude of different mediums which involve narrative. The pattern is generally easy to identify within a story, but can sometimes be harder to decipher as is the case with the narrative in Bioshock Infinite (Irrational Games, 2013) (Infinite), and for this reason, not all stages are mentioned. On a psychological and cultural level, Bioshock Infinite draws the player in, making them connect on a deep level with the main characters, involving them in the story and convincing them to continue playing.
The first stage of Vogler’s The Hero’s Journey is The Ordinary World, which the hero is part of on a normal basis. This stage is not obvious at the very beginning of Infinite, but comes in the form of a flashback a few minutes into the game’s play time. This sequence shows the hero, previously identified as Booker Dewitt, as living in a bare hotel room with empty bottles scattered throughout. The Call to Adventure, the second stage, is also displayed through this flashback, as a voice from the other side of the hotel door demands that the player “Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt,” (Bioshock Infinite, 2013). This scene is designed psychologically to pique the player’s curiosity, compelling them to continue. It can also be said to evoke feelings of sympathy, as Booker refuses to comply with the demands. The third stage, Refusal of the Call, is show...
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...ely, and allow the player to feel justified regarding their modern day feelings towards racism. Overall, The Hero’s Journey is used effectively throughout the narrative of Bioshock Infinite on both psychological and cultural levels.
Campbell, J 2008, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell Foundation, California.
Irrational Games, 2013, Bioshock Infinite [computer game], 2K Games.
King, T 2008, Racism's Long and Torturous History Against African-Americans, Salem-News.com, viewed 5 April 2014,
Lahti, E, Wilde, T 2013, BioShock Infinite's ending explained, and what we think about it, PC Gamer, viewed 27 March 2014,
Vogler, C 2007, The Writer’s Journey, Michael Wiese Productions, California.
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