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BioShock Infinite is set in 1912 and takes place in a fictional steampunk city-state called “Columbia”—named in homage to the female personification of the United States—which is suspended in the air through a combination of giant blimps, balloons, reactors, propellers, and “quantum levitation”. The city of Columbia was founded by self-proclaimed prophet Zachary Hale Comstock, who used his connections in Congress to have the American government build the floating city. The government intended Columbia to serve as a floating world’s fair and as a display to the rest of the world of the success of American exceptionalism. The city was launched to much fanfare and publicity at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, and was later dispatched to distant shores, travelling from continent to continent.
Initially seen as the pride of the United States, tensions eventually rose between Columbia and the American government. In 1901, against the government’s wishes, Columbia brutally and violently put an end to the Boxer Rebellion in Peking. This event revealed the floating city as a heavily armed aerial battleship, capable of unleashing devastation across the world. The American government subsequently demanded Columbia’s return to sovereign soil, and, in response, Columbia seceded from the United States and disappeared into the clouds, its location soon lost to everyone else. Free from outside influence, Comstock now had complete control over the city, transforming it from a floating world’s fair to a theocratic police state.
Under Comstock’s rule, Columbia became a militant pseudo-Christian utopian society that worshiped him as a divine prophetic figure and the Founding Fathers of the United States as religious icons. Despite Columbia’s apparent utopian exteriors, it is soon revealed to be a hidden dystopia. Institutional racism and elitism are widespread in the city, with white supremacy of the upper and middle classes heavily enforced by the government as law. Despite the drive for racial purity in Columbia, people of minority races are purposely brought into the city to exploit as a source of cheap labor. They are the underclass of Columbia, and commonly serve as indentured servants. As a result of this subjugation, minorities are largely relegated to menial and hard labor with no obvious opportunity for upward mobility. Racial segregation is also heavily enforced within the city, to the point where interracial couples face the risk of a public stoning.
By the time of the game’s events, racial tensions have risen to the point where Columbia is on the verge of revolution, instigated by the insurgent “Vox Populi” against the government institutions and the counter-revolutionary “Founders”. The Founders, led by Comstock, are the prevailing political faction in the city, and are the rulers of Columbia. The city’s ruling class, they are the racist ultra-nationalists who seek to keep Columbia’s privileges purely for White American citizens while denying the same right to foreigners. The Vox Populi (Latin for “Voice of the People”), led by Daisy Fitzroy, are a rag-tag anarchist-communist resistance group who fight to give the rights of Columbian citizenship to people of all races and religions. However, years of bitter struggle have driven them to fight the opposition more out of blind hatred, resulting in more violent and brutal methods.
In addition to the internal strife, Columbia is ravaged by “Tears” in the fabric of space-time. Being the result of past scientific experiments, these Tears reveal alternate universes, and allow for interaction with them. While most Columbian citizens regard these Tears as mere curiosity, some individuals have exploited the insight offered by them to create radically new weapons and technologies,[ while several others have replicated futuristic music and songs heard from the Tears, bringing anachronistic elements into the Columbia of 1912.
Lunartic Wolf Computer Specs:
CPU: Intel i7/8700K CPU @ 3.70GHz
Motherboard: Z370 AORUS Gaming Motherboard – GIGABYTE
Video Card: GTX 1080 TI
Ram: 16GB Hyperx DDR4 3200Mhz
Power Supply: G750H – GIGABYTE
Case: NZXT Noctis 450 Black and Red