Is Bioshock More Profound than Killing Your Father with a Golf Club?

(Here on Terrible Alternatives, we take a hard stare at the worst things that can happen to a human being, whether that’s death, murder, terrorism, being on fire, or wasting hours of your finite existence playing a video game, and compare the merits of each. Using an empirical, carefully crafted system, we determine which of these two terrible alternatives is the best use of your time.)

Today’s contestants:


                                    A video game where you travel to an underwater city to shoot at drug addicts in masks while a man shouts at you about Objectivism/how good it feels to be rich



Killing Your Father with a Golf Club

He deserves it. But can you really go back to prison?

POINT BIOSHOCK The setting – gothic Art Deco skyscrapers, glass tunnels under the ocean, halls of gears and clockwork bronze, undersea volcanic vents – is entrancing

POINT BIOSHOCK They put lots of windows in the game so you can see all the fish and stuff

POINT PATRICIDE You spend most of your time investigating corpses in grungy bathrooms

POINT PATRICIDE All the human character models whose faces who can see look like they’re wearing plastic Nixon masks, which are the perfect disguise to kill your father in

POINT PATRICIDE But most of them are wearing masquerade masks, which is just an okay good disguise to kill your father in

POINT BIOSHOCK Almost of them die anyways, so I don’t have to look at their creep mask faces for long

POINT BIOSHOCK The gameplay uses the shoulder buttons in really original ways, and the “shooting things” part of the game is fantastically fluid and fun

POINT BIOSHOCK So is the “beating people’s faces in with a wrench” portion.

POINT BIOSHOCK Using the environment to kill people is actually really natural and well-integrated

POINT BIOSHOCK There’s a background theme of psychotic, Ayn Rand-style uber-capitalism gone wrong, complete with mad scientists, drug zombies, fast drug zombies, teleporting fireball drug zombies, drug zombies in diving suits, and evil doll children

POINT PATRICIDE Navigating the legal consequences of killing dad is probably more straightforward than this ridiculous plot

POINT BIOSHOCK The plot is sometimes genuinely shocking and unexpected

POINT PATRICIDE The main twist is that you’re actually playing as a secret, mind-controlled, time-dilated, killer baby

POINT PATRICIDE All the fake science-magic and plot holes are explained by: “sea slugs”


POINT PATRICIDE If “sea slugs” is all they can come up with and it still sold a million copies, I feel like any alibi I make up will be foolproof

POINT PATRICIDE Every gameplay and narrative cliché is here: mad science, evil doctors, innocent children, and a dark overlord living in a high tower

POINT BIOSHOCK Each cliché is carried out with such mindless glee that almost makes me forget how trite they are

POINT BIOSHOCK I get the feeling this game doesn’t take itself and its insane narrative and setting nearly as seriously as people think it does

POINT PATRICIDE The game makes you inject a syringe full of electricity into yourself in the first 5 minutes and winners don’t do drugs – not even dad’s cocaine

POINT BIOSHOCK Then again, it worked for Lance Armstrong


POINT BIOSHOCK And, really, all successful people

POINT PATRICIDE The last boss is an invalid connected to a feeding tube full of jellied SEA SLUGS

POINT PATRICIDE Which is what I’ll be if dad finds out I stole his cocaine





If dad comes home and sees that all of his cocaine has been snorted up by the women’s rugby team, I pretend that I was playing Bioshock the whole time and don’t understand what happened. This will surely save me.

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