View Full Version : Anyone read Ayn Rand or heard of her work before Bioshock?

08-28-2007, 02:12 AM
Has anyone read The Fountain Head or Atlas Shrugged? If so, was that one of the reasons you found this game interesting?

I for one was really excited about the game once I read an early preview last year and the reviewer said on one of the walls was scrawled the words "Rand was right".

08-28-2007, 02:18 AM
im sorry but who is she and what are these books about?

Rob Kramble
08-28-2007, 02:20 AM
I'd heard of her before the game was released, but I hadn't read the books yet. My dad recommended them, but I never got around to reading them. I guess I will sometime soon, as I see one of them every day lying around our basement.

08-28-2007, 02:32 AM
Ayn Rand's books you could say are the basis for what Rapture was supposed to be. Personally I had heard of her from a couple of my English Lit. teachers in high school but never read any of her work. I was really thinking of reading The Fountainhead after playing Bioshock, but I believe both it and Atlas Shrugged are very long books. I might just watch the movie of The Fountainhead first and see if it's interesting.

08-28-2007, 04:02 AM
haha. the problem is that books are usually better than the movie versions so it may not be a good movie but a fantastic book :)

08-28-2007, 04:17 AM
The movie of The Fountainhead is hard to find and only on VHS as far as I know. The books are very long and the font size is smaller than usual, a 10 pt I believe. Ayn Rand did help write the screenplay I believe. Still the book would be better I imagine.

Atlas shrugged is hard to describe in a few sentences. Imagine a world where all the brightest minds and hardest workers slowly disappeared. The best thinkers, inventors, leaders, engineers and artists ( to name a few ) where to vanish and start their own hidden community. They also actively sought out others of like mind and persuaded them to abandon their jobs and join them. What would the world be like with no new inventions and no one around who had the "know how" to fix things when they no longer worked or became broken. The book is set in roughly a 1930's future. As if the tech of the 30's remained, no improvements.
I know that doesn't do it justice. It's also about John Gault the man who makes the motor of the world stop, although he doesn't even show up in the book until 2/3's of the way in. It's about philosophy and hard work and the joy of doing your best and trying your hardest, not for anyone else but for yourself.

Thanks for responding, I'd suggest reading them both. First The Fountainhead ( about Howard Roark ) and then Atlas Shrugged. No I'm not an english teacher or I'd be able to explain it a bit better for you.

Mr Arrow
08-28-2007, 02:43 PM
I got about 1/4 of the way through Atlas Shrugged, just lost interest at the time, will pick it up again one day.

At my kids old school the teach used to read from Ayn Rand when they were getting out of hand. They would have to sit quietly and listen to excerpts. The teacher said that it was required reading to teach at this particular school, so if she had to read it they had to listen.

Ayn Rand was a very interesting person with a view of the world I think should be taught everywhere.

08-28-2007, 02:53 PM
As usual, anything can be found on Wikipedia.
Ayn Rand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_rand)
Atlas Shrugged (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_shrugged)
Fountainhead (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountainhead)

**Warning** These articles are kind of long, and the Rand one is really long.

08-28-2007, 02:54 PM
Ayn Rand is the founder of the Objectivist movement, and most of her books provide insight into her political and philosophical beliefs. To a limited extent, the Libertarian party borrows from Objectivism on a policital level. Incidentally, most people mispronounce her name. "Ayn" is not pronounced "Ann"; it is pronounced the same as "eye" with the letter "N" thrown in at the end.

Ayn Rand characterized Objectivism as a philosophy "for living on earth," grounded in reality and aimed at achieving knowledge about the natural world and harmonious, mutually beneficial interactions between human beings. Rand wrote:My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_%28Ayn_Rand%29#_note-rand)
Rand presented her philosophy in Atlas Shrugged (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged), elaborating on her ideas in The Objectivist Newsletter, The Ayn Rand Letter, and in The Objectivist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Objectivist), a journal she edited, in which only authors who largely agreed with Objectivism were published. She did not publish in conventional academic journals. Some of the non-fiction Objectivist corpus is available only in the form of audio recordings.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_%28Ayn_Rand%29) is the complete wikipedia article on Objectivism if you are interested.

08-28-2007, 02:57 PM
Something amusing I just noticed....


Takes the letters I capitalized and treat it like a word jumble and you get...

Ayn Rand

Coincidence or accidental?

What do you think?

08-28-2007, 05:46 PM
Something amusing I just noticed....


Takes the letters I capitalized and treat it like a word jumble and you get...

Ayn Rand

Coincidence or accidental?

What do you think?

No, I think Ken Levine said it was on purpose.

08-29-2007, 01:15 AM
I saw an old taped ( on VHS ) Donahue show in college that had Ayn Rand as a guess star,it was very interesting to hear her speak. You can check it out on Youtube btw, some of the Fountainhead movie is also on youtube. Check it out.
No I need to get Bioshock, I can't wait to play it.

captn charisma
08-29-2007, 03:12 AM
i've only heard of her/the book through south park season 2. the chicken lover episode lol

Bool Zero
08-29-2007, 03:44 AM
I became familiar and read her works when taking philosophy for my college requisites. If you are into the subject of philosophy and debating morality and ethics, then her works will be a very interesting read to those with the head for it.

08-29-2007, 04:52 PM
Wow. I can't believe how few of you know who she is. Turn off your xbox for just a little while and pay attention in school . . . and if your school makes no mention, then that sucks.

Everyone on here should read Anthem. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead will intimidate most readers I think. Most people give up well before getting into the 10th chapter on either of those.

Read Anthem by Ayn Rand, it will give you an introduction to Rand and her Objectivism philosophy, without having to embark on reading the other two. Seriously, Anthem is like 110 pages. Do it people.

08-29-2007, 05:48 PM
I've read some of her work. I hate it.

01-20-2008, 04:56 PM
andrew ryan was based on howard roak from the fountainhead.

watch this video clip from the 1949 film adaptation:

YouTube - The Fountainhead - Howard Roark Speech (Ayn Rand)

also, here is the transcript:

bioshock's andrew ryan borrows a great deal from the fountainhead's howard roark.

On the surface, the Parasite expects the doctor to heal them for free, the farmer to feed them out of charity. How little they differ from the pervert who prowls the streets, looking for a victim he can ravish for his grotesque amusement.What is the difference between a man and a parasite? A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?' A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?' A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God...'

now, from the fountainhead:

The creator stands on his own judgment; the parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks; the parasite copies. The creator produces; the parasite loots. The creator's concern is the conquest of nature; the parasite's concern is the conquest of men. The creator requires independence. He neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice. The parasite seeks power. He wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery. He claims that man is only a tool for the use of others -- that he must think as they think, act as they act, and live in selfless, joyless servitude to any need but his own.

ayn rand was no doubt a large influence on the creators of bioshock. hell, perhaps bioshock's atlas (aka frank fontaine) borrows his name from rand's book "atlas shrugged"

01-22-2008, 02:05 AM
not the fountain head or atlas shruged but I read some of Anthem

01-14-2009, 06:43 AM
Ayn Rand is one of my favorite authors without a doubt! The game was great without knowing her works but having read all of them, it greatly enhanced the whole experience!

Johnny Truant21
01-23-2009, 11:03 AM
I completely agree with phatstrat.

I'm not sure how many times I've re-read her books, but they really never get old. All of the Ayn Rand chatter during the preview days of the game is what initially drew me in.

edit: Yikes, sorry for digging up a fairly old topic.

Harrison Drake
02-10-2009, 05:28 PM
Her books are sheer brilliance. Little philosophy of note has emerged since the days of Locke, Foucalt, Hume, Descartes and others (and even they can't hold a candle to Rand in my humble opinion).

Rand's work is something that everyone must read. It is at times not for the faint of heart and something that many people will disagree with. She has a higher regard for raw sewage than for socialism and communism. I started with Atlas Shrugged and it was a very time-consuming read. I would suggest familiarizing yourself with some of her work before diving headlong into Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead. Anthem (as previously mentioned by another poster) is just over one hundred pages (and not 10pt font with 822.213 to the power of 6 words on each page :)) and can easily be read in a single sitting. It is something that everyone must read.

Rand has also released numerous non-fiction works including one of my favourites 'The Virtue of Selfishness', as well as 'For the New Intellectual', "Philosophy: Who Needs It', and 'Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal' to name a few.

Andrew Ryan's name was intentionally made an anagram of Ayn Rand's name (plus a couple of letters of course). The character Atlas should require no explanation. The posters "Who is Atlas?" seen throughout the game is meant to represent the question asked by everyone in Atlas Shrugged "Who is John Galt?" (the question became an expression used when someone did not know the answer for something as "Who is John Galt?" was essentially a question with no answer). Fontaine is named after The Fountainhead itself.

A brilliant game with an incredible story. Finally, a thinking person's game!

Here's to hoping the Objectivist philosophy stays in Bioshock 2.

And the game was fantastic in raising the question of which is flawed: humanity or the philosophy? Food for thought...

The Globalizer
02-12-2009, 04:52 PM
I just played the demo yesterday (newbie to the 360) -- I hadn't heard anything about the Rand references, but when I loaded up the game, I was like, "Whoa, this is totally Ayn Rand." When I saw the radio character's name was Atlas, that was it for me.

I've been a big fan of Ayn Rand for a long time (15+ years). Read her books early in college. Her philosophy is pretty clumsy in places, but I totally dig her underlying concepts (greatness through individuality). I just wish she'd leave out some of the Kantian moral absolutism.

02-20-2009, 04:36 PM
Yes I read Atlas Shrugged like 5-6 years ago because I was curious.

Objectivism isn't what drew me to Bioshock tho, I just read it was 10/10 in OXM and I will buy almost any game rated 10/10 and found that I liked the graphix and unique FPS experience.