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More interesting items/ideas for a Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
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Get Rid of the Little Sisters (Radio Message from Stanley Poole) :
Since DNA/RNA cannot store 'memories', the whole thing about that is a sham/delusion. The 'Ghost Stories' of BS1 were hallucinations suggested by the settings (Jack was toking up ADAM quite alot and might not have been overly 'all there' to begin with).
For Sofia Lamb's plan to amass ADAM-based 'memories', THAT is another great murderous delusion (maybe she sniffed a little too much of her bookbinders glue, to add to her other mental illnesses).
For Stanley having Dionysus opened up (unflooded), it could still disclose evidence (of other sorts) of his misdeeds, so having you go around hunting Little Sisters may have had the real intent of YOU (the killer Daddy from Hell) slaughtering everybody inside to keep that from happening.
In real MMORPG fashion, the security station Poole was in could have been pried or hacked open (given sufficient time/effort) allowing Delta to get the prize inside (if Poole didn't squeeze out through a ventilator shaft and make his escape...) "I gots 600 pounds of High Explosives in here, and if you kill me, you go up with it !!!"
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Cyborg Elements Facilitating Plasmid Use :
Magic Potions are for FANTASY games. This is SCIENCE dammit !!!!
Plasmids would be more than just 'genetic' manipulation... Often the active components would be Injected at location in body where the structure/mechanism is supposed to form/be utilized from. Preparation steps would be made and subsequent manipulations done when various ADAM product components are applied.
Example - Booker's BIC lighter thumb was injected at that location (Right or Left preference made...) where genetic markers/activators were placed, and thus used to stimulate the rest of the mutation mechanism to form around that point (the tissue modification required for 'flame'). There are parts of your body which you DON'T want a "flame" to inadvertantly activate, so the positioning is preferably well 'guided'.
This manual tagging of locations and other manual assistance to the genetic modification would make the product simpler to achieve (and thus early Plasmids more possible quite a while before more sophisticated 'self starting' ADAM products could be created/developed).
Many/Most of the early Plasmids/Tonics were applied by 'professionals', instead of being 'auto-installed' by a user via some self-injection/ingestion. The processes carried out had multiple steps which had to be done in sequence, and with precision and timing.
As noted elsewhere - in-game we most often go to a machine which introduces the new Plasmid/Tonic into our system (it doesn't come in a 'bottle') and the process may take ALOT longer than the moment we see it done. Brevity for playability - much as we don't see Jack/Delta/Sigma tear the head off a Little Sister and extract the Sea Slug and then wring out all the tasty ADAM from it, and into a convenient container (or whatever the Raw ADAM is stashed in before it can be delivered to the Gatherers Garden machine).
Another advantage to manual processing is the ADAM product can be manufactured simpler and use less ADAM (skipping the automatic 'convenience' features). When Ryan/Atlas were Splicing up their forces, they could make use of a manual process and trained personnel implementing it, with no 'consumer convenience' being required.
Reminiscent of scenes of military personnel induction where innoculations are being done assembly line fashion...
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Created Mission Scenarios - What of Quality ? Versatility ? :
More versatile than this example- The Little Sister Introductory Attack Scene in BS1 Welcome Center Spotlight Theater - the Little Sister will stand there sticking her ADAM extractor into the dead Splicers head over and over until doomsday UNTIL you come down the stairs (which is then impassible/impossible to go back up, and the pad-locked door is blocked til you are 'allowed' to pass). Likewise there is that 'Will You Kindly Lower That Wrench' player having most of their interactions disabled.
The scene plays out very simply as recorded, and Jack can only stand there with a finger up his nose til it is played through.
But then this is the old problem of choreographed scenes. Where the much-touted "big AI improvement" of Half-Life (ages ago) was actually just having a few more scripted interactions built within the scene - which if you happened to do unexpected things (outside of that scripting) it couldn't handle it. Usually the basic scene sequence/characters just went on its merry way regardless, once you triggered the next sequence (ie- NPC talking/gesturing blindly at the Player's expected position in the scene, even when you moved behind that NPC...) Disconcerting when they don't even turn a bit to talk to you.
"JUST STAND THERE AND SHUT UP - IM TALKING HERE !!!"
The MMORPGs more comprehensive AI behaviors can handle alot more variations to interact better, and compensate for Player actions (within reason). Irrelevancies are ignored, Show Stoppers ... cause the Scene to stop with appropriate transitioning from the failure.
If the Player does something stupid enough to invalidate the scene, then it stops and the NPCs walk away or might retry to get the mini-plot back on course. If the Player is uncooperative, then the plot is off and the Player doesn't get the Mission (eventually Players learn to 'play ball' and cooperate appropriately).
One advantage is that the MMORPG's AI is generalized, and does not have to be hand built/recrafted for every scene, and is thus more likely (even though alot more complicated) to be better tested and properly functional. Of course it takes more CPU power for such AI, but we have lots of that these days (another reason they were so limited in the 'Old Days').
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Its only a Game!!!. They Can't Show you Everything :
With the Bathyspheres 'locked down' - Then how did people get around Rapture unless there was another system ?? What year did that happen ?? (maybe figure 1952 with the 'cutting off from Surface' OR maybe expanded later (1959) when Altas turned Rapture into a warzone).
Maybe Only certain Bathyspheres in the Metro system were 'locked down' - the ones going to the Surface (Lighthouse). As per my elaborations of Rapture's transport system - most 'Transit' "Bathyspheres" were connected to cables and only capable of going minimal distances under their own power (hardly the 300 miles to get to Iceland). And a bulk of commuters actually took the Trolley Trams and various surviving parts of the AE still operating (as we saw operational in BS2).
Allegedly there also were all the 'Private' car-like submarines (alluded to "Austen Streamliner 1952" etc...) -- Were these then confiscated also ? (Imagine the outcry at that... Note- this is BEFORE Kashmir when Ryan had to pussyfoot around such deprivations of citizens rights/freedoms). All the subs used for maintenance and industrial worK... what of them ? ... More costly disruptions/complications by stopping use of them ? Not too practical, all round.
How many of these 'authorized' people were there (many ? - probably then there were 'electronic' keys, only RUMORED to be "genetic" ... especially if it was earlier 1952 when 'genetics' technologies were still quite primitive - thought that might explain its being fairly imperfect - 'genetics of any relative', similar, etc...)
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Minervas Den Computer Printouts - Covered with Nothing but '1's and '0's :
It is funny how some people think computers worked back in the days of the mainframes. Magnetic Tape Drives with the Spinning Wheels and a big panel of Switches and Blinky Lights was 'a computer' to most people (as seen on TV and in Movies). In reality you had only a few big Printers and their Fanfold Paper printouts, which the 'programmers' were always shown looking at.
Of course Printers do normal alphabetic text, but it would be too small and gibberish to most players anyway, so migt as well have a 'symbolic' moving texture of 1/0s serve to represent lots of output being generated.
The odd thing is those printer paper reading displays being seen everywhere on walls, used to create some simple animated 'computer' machinery Asset as filler for the game. They don't make any sense, as they would allow a view of the printout for only a short time, and then the output paper disappears somewhere. Computer monitors (CRT+Keyboard) allow seeing any accessible data, and would have been existing (even as Teletype machines) by then.
The Computers at Minervas Den supposedly did alot of monitoring/control work for the City, and paper CHARTING status displays could/should be what those wall things were supposed to be (with MUCH slower moving paper with only recent status info being relevant). Guys with clipboards would make regular round checking them ...
Game Assets thrown together for a DLC representing "Big Computer Stuff" is all the Shooter game really required. The MMORPG would show the surviving computer equipment better - less anachronistic, and done correctly just as impressive.
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Missing Pieces :
Fink the Caveman vs Advanced Technology
Too much we see in Infinite BS where somehow someone (Fink) just looks at an idea, and next thing they are mass producing something based on it as a consumer good. Machinery is produced that performs tasks which we barely can do today, when at that time a Flush Toilet was looked on as a modern marvel. This is actually rediculous and as much fantasy as the Quantumz bullshit is.
- Materials that don't exist yet
- Tools that don't exist (industrial/practical tools an even further prevenative)
- Understanding/Skills (even basic knowledge) that don't exist.
- Practicality that doesn't exist - impractical products that cannot sell are horribly expensive failures (all the money in Columbia couldn't build a steel plant for ONE measely new type of steel)
All of these missing elements later came about (in Reality) because of LIFETIMES of effort by hundreds of intelligent scientists and engineers in dozens of disciplines, and their employing hundreds of specific technologies -- and often huge amounts of money and time to incrementally develop each one. AND THEN only for things that had practical use to have sufficient demand for them.
Infinite's Fink is like a deaf man 'listening' to Mozart through a keyhole, and then starting to compose and play equivalent great music without pen and paper or even an instrument. This effectively is what they claim Fink did, and it is more Fantasy than the BS Quantum pseudo science or Levine's strange ideas about Christianity or about real American history.
Luteces quantum science achievements were far too early and had little real science to base them on (and even those that took place for real waited 100 years to have any practical use).
ADAM Genetics in Bioshock Rapture itself is similar, but at least there was supposed to be years of research by Rapture's high-end technocrats, and results for the eventual manipulation of genetics to base it upon. Tenenbaum supposedly saw basics a decade before in the work of Nazi scientists.
For my ADAM based Bio-Electronics extrapolation (a way to facilitate/explain various Rapture mechanical marvels being possible so much earlier), a critical missing piece was the ability to shape small features (for the needed miniturization employing details in fractions of millimeters), which cellular manipulation could solve. Theres a leap of imagination in employing what previously was 'medical' technology could be used to revolutionize electronics (but note it is derivative of the base 'geneti' technology posited in Rapture).
For all the underwater stuff used to create Rapture, contemporary WW2 era technologies, materials and engineering/industry were sufficiently advanced, and were not so extrordinary as it is for many things shown in Columbia which would be seen as too futuristic even for today). For Infinite BS, you might as well expect some Hillbilly Moonshiners to have carried out the 1969 Moonshot using magic beans, bacon and chewing tobacco.
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Rivet Gun Shoot Rivets (Like a Gun?)?
Real Ones were never meant to 'shoot' -- a old time rivet is a piece of metal (usually made red hot) which is pushed thru a hole between two sheets of metal (one side already has a head shaped on it) and that side has something pushed against it securly/forcefully and then the 'rivet gun' pounds the opposite rivet side til it is deformed/widened/spread and is tight and holds the two sheets of metal securely together (on cooling the metal shrinks and tightens even more). SO they never shoot the way a nailgun can. The percussive strike of a rivet gun could (if severely modified and increased very greatly in power) drive a projectile, but real ones just didn't have the force/design to throw the heavy rivets anywhere as hard as a bullet.
The whole Big Daddy rivet gun thing wouldn't work as a riveter (with no thing on the other side bracing the rivet), but maybe could work as some single-side equivalent -- like forcing material into a leak from only one side (possibly even injecting sealant like epoxy which can penetrate cracks much further)
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Rapture is a Story About Betrayal :
Not Ryan of Rapture, but by those who he though had been capable of embracing the ideals Rapture was founded upon. The implications that Ryan had 'sold out' his Philosophy were quite contrived. There actually should have been widespread clamor/support by the majority of the population for Ryan to wipe out the destructive Parasites (Remember that there really isn't anything 'warm and fuzzy' about parasites -- who quite often KILL their Host). Post-WW2 people had little sympathy for evil people getting away with things, and understood better (than 'safe' people today) how vulnurable their freedoms and right were, and what strong measure could be employed to protect them.
Fontaine (a parasite) was making profits by imperiling Rapture to the Surface World via Smuggling, thus was also cheating Citizens of their livelihood who tried to produce goods in Rapture eqivalent to the various Contraband. Fontaine cared not that the effects of his ADAM was to poison and maim mentally and physically its users. He built his power by extorted and killing people and enslaved children. His crimes were exposed to the people of Rapture (result - whining about Ryan's "betrayal" of 'his' Philosophy). Ryan merely saw that justice was done.
Ignorance (or dishonesty creating a Strawman) assumes that Philosophy has to be absolute and can't include pragmatic/adaptable elements, which Ryan's Philosophy had. Absolute Philosophy like Hitler's/Stalin's/Mao's murdered millions of people and tyrannized even more as its impractical goals were forced on them. Ryan's stated that you keep what works of itself and the losers fall by the wayside - the Market was the arbiter. When massive destructive forces threatened (Atlas's terrorists), Ryan rallied the citizens to defend themsleves and took needed measures against the enemies of safety, order and law. In the game, all we see is the destruction of that war, with little detail about what really took place or who really perpetrated what -- intentionally hidden to lead the player down a false trail, which then never is quite properly explained in the end.
Some people (just like today) "talk the talk", but fail when it comes to actually following thru, or demur when things get difficult, or wait to leave it to others to 'handle'. Ryan (as its shown) alone took charge when normal society wasn't capable of handling the forces endangering his City. The game writers cherry-picked the Audio Diary accounts complaining about his doing so -- virtually nothing was heard on the other side. It is like someone subsequently complaining about the police breaking down their home door to get to an insane criminal in the process of murdering them - blind ingratitude and delusion.
In the End, Its betrayal by the gamemakers who sloppily and illogically setup Ryan and his Philosophy to foster their rather weak shoot-em-up plot, while ignoring true human motivations and how people in the real world act. "Its Just a Game!!!" - yes "just" despite claims/hype/acclaim that 'story' was its outstanding feature.
Ex- McDonagh -- See the whole separate section on how scatterbrained McDonagh's actions/opinions were (if going by the Audio Diaries heard in-game).
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You Took Too Much .. Too Much :
If you played Jack by taking as much (or half) the ADAM/Plasmids he had available, then by the end of Bioshock 1 you are probably the Posterboy for ADAM Disease (Tumors, Deformities and Insanity). The so called 'good' ending really would have Jack being eaten alive by the effects of so much ADAM... (Would he have lived long enough for the Little Sisters he rescued to have grown up ?)
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Infinite BS Columbia could NOT be More Contrived for Failtopia-hood :
- Fabulous technologies which only sporadicly seem to be commonly used by citizens (yet the player freely obtains)
- A feeble/inept Police State lacking the most obvious methodologies, seemingly built to enable revolution
- The Population's hallucinogenicly gullible mentality reflecting an apparent state of oxygen deprevation
- Cult worship without any redeeming advantages, theology typically rejected even by second-rate cretins
- An economy apparently based on vapors and game-maze facilitation.
- Total Catastrophic failure awaiting the flip of a switch (Vox explosives on the 'particle' thingees)
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Running Into Stuff (Game Mechanics):
In alot of games you charge about crazily, but rarely do you :
- Trip over things
- Collide with walls painfully
- Knock stuff over
- Impale yourself on your own weapons
- Drop stuff
- Get tired either moving too fast or carrying alot
- Make noises when fumbling about.
More realistic physics can make things much more interesting. Skill of movement (especially rapid movement) when dealing with obstacles/situations/environments of all kinds.
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Fontaine Couldn't be Capone (continued) :
The ADAM Products production is limited largely by the supply of ADAM, which could only be expanded so much. Economy-of-Scale could only go so far to create the amounts of ADAM needed for an expanded/larger market. The 20-30X ADAM production increase possible by Little Sisters host symbiosis would be offset by all the costs of operating that method -- including it having to be done covertly/secretly as it was something Citizens with ethics or not would unlikely allow.
With all the normal goods/services people had to buy to live, most could afford only so much ADAM, and the 'rich' people were only a fraction of the population (and THEY could only use so much Premium Priced ADAM before poisoning themselves -- assuming many even had the inclination to do so).
Mass producing ADAM products would lower the profit on each 'unit' of the product as they would be sellable only to additional people who could afford lower prices.
The bigger the market got, the more and more the horrendous side-effects would become apparent. Supposedly that didn't happen (quite conveniently for the plot), perhaps simply because the usage did not get that large (the full maximum consuption was caused by the Civil War, when Fontaine could no longer profit from it, and even then there were supposedly 'shortages' at that time (the higher demand could not be met by production).
Fontaine's other diversified businesses were NOT all monopolies, and he had to compete with existing businesses - including for limited resource supplies. Many such ventures would simply be unprofitable. If he tried unfairly to strong-arm too many competitors (and/or his workforce) to gain unfair advantage, his evil would be made plain and the Citizenry (or just some brave individuals) would destroy him.
The bigger his operation got, the more likely its illegal activities would be 'found out' (that would be true even just for his ADAM production method - the bigger the 'orphanage' system got, the more likely it would be exposed). Enslaving children is just one of those things...
OMG, you are trying to infuse Bioshock with REAL Economics ??? Yes, the game was supposed to have 'significace' by reflecting the Real World (that is the story the game company/employees said over and over), rather than be some magical LaLa-Land Fantasy used as a pretty context for slaughtering things in a shooter game.
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Game Shows, RApture's Cheaply Produced TV shows :
Problem - Limited markets and advertising by viewership. What good is TV without shows to watch (public information/educational TV is usually horrendously inane), and doesn't work well in getting viewers to SEE the advertisements.
Creating TV shows cheaply, and with minimum staff and equipment... that would be needed in such a small place. (Most small towns of the era couldn't afford to run a TV station profitably)
Monsterous TV cameras replaced with smaller portables (outgrowth of the TV cameras used in the remote control machinery used in Rapture's undersea construction - mentioned in the Bioshock Novel.)
The One Man TV Stations could become common in old Rapture.
SO there is Lots of opportunities to create less than outstanding TV for the Player Creators to keep New Rapture's TVs humming.
Train Buffs :
Plot about 'Train Spotters' (known as Railroad Buffs in the US) in Rapture being pissed off because the AE was being shut down -- or more like downsized to Freight-only - eliminated the Train Schedules that they spent so much time and effort memorizing (and Bathyspheres just aren't the same...)
Pretty meager fare for the train hobbyists, with the city only existing for a decade, and fairly limited selection of equipment. In my expanded Rapture map there are the train routes outside the city (various industrial and raw material sites) to photograph and ride.
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The Little Sisters Best Friend :
The whole Protector thing demonstrated that Ryan made it a policy to not create any more Little Sisters, and went to great lengths (expense and difficulty) to avoid doing so EVEN at a point he really needed more ADAM to run the "Civil War" against Atlas's terrorists (and to keep the segment of the population which was addicted from exploding). The numerous children who were already in that 'Sluggified' condition (inherited from Fontaine) he couldn't do much about, except to maximize their production so that additional LS would not need to be created (as the addicted citizens would probably desire). This of course wouldn't stop others like Atlas or Bootleggers from still doing so.
Just 'making' more Little Sisters would have been easier? Uh huh, and the parents being out for Ryan's blood just wouldnt happen - since it was understood what Fontaine's Orphanages were all about... Right?? All that "Freedom from Ethics" so the Citizens wouldn't care? (Since when would that actually happen? Writers said so ? 'Writers' can be the biggest morons/most ignorant people in the World...) So how many citizens at that point (Pre-Kashmir timeframe) WERE actually Splicers ???, versus how many WERE NOT ? It is very convenient for writers to portray people losing all ethics supposedly under the name of 'individual freedom' or 'No Laws' for a lame game plot, when it is a total misrepresentation of the Objectivism (and Ryan's version of that) the city is supposed to be founded and run under. Writers reading "Consistency For Dummies" might have helped a little to prevent such things in this game.
The problem with the game is that they present vague/spotty (quite selective) evidence, but then don't actually explain by the end what it actually meant, or what actually happened. It may have been the game makers built-in alibi, a deniability, because they could appear to be endorsing Child Enslavement and Mass-Killing in their game. Or its just that the illogical aspects of Rapture society then doesnt have to be explained -- "Let the player figure it out" -- except that is rather hard when the information provided is quite biased, and many people today (in this case the players who have gone through public run schools) don't understand history or critical thinking sufficiently to know what is wrong about what has been showm.
Filler Conversations :
Markov processes can also be used to generate superficially real-looking text given a sample document.
"Markov" references an option tree methodology of pattern matching/building (often used in AI). Probability along with logic to select appropriate context branches can be used to generate adaquate verbage or background conversations.
When banter is going on between NPCs at a distance (where you don't hear it clearly), the dialog only need be accurate flavor to the situational context. The audio quality also need not be in 'high detail' mode. At sufficient distance the word need not be discernable which can save effort of having it make sense.
This would be a bit more sophisticated than the 'one-liners' which games like GTA used for all the NPCs they have milling about in the game world. (Random one-liner often responded to by an adjacent NPC with another random one-liner).
The 'good stuff' can be saved for when the player is near enough to hear clearly and can be pertinent directly to the game situation and flow of activities. Appropriate gestures and other actions would be needed.
You definitely don't want the conversations to be repetative, so there has to be alot of content of various sorts and appropriate to any situation present. (You shouldnt be hearing a vendor shouting "Get Your Hotdogs" or someone saying "Goodday Citizen" in the middle of a Splicer chase in the Town Center). Bothersome NPCs following you around yapping at you continuously (beggars in UO) should be avoided.
Its a bit different than in the Bioshock games where mostly NPCs are 'staged' talking (cluing you into their presence) so that you can prepare to kill them.
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No Laws in Rapture (?) :
The problem is an old one. At the level of complexity for a Modern City (Civilization which Rapture emulated) where people wan't certainty in their lives, so they can make more than trivial decisions. I've mentioned before the question of HOW can you have any Commerce of any good size (bigger than a popcorn stand) without Commercial Law existing (so that contracts can be created and enforced). When laws are written down, then people can point to them and say "THATS what it says and I did X within The Law", instead of some judge ruling arbitrarily (subjectively, as they feel like it - law by whim), and the unfortunate non-mindreaders getting stung (or corruption being empowered). Hammurabi's code, Magna Carta, The US Constitution, etc.. all employed important solid/fixed legal (well-known) basis to make decisions upon, via expectation of law adherence (which then could create expected behavior within the Social Contract). Even the system by which 'laws are decided' is itself defined as a law (how do you decide when consensus is achieved, as without consensus the laws are not effectively binding.)
Courts implement law (as do Police), and again the complexity of all the interactions of people within a city are too much for some simplistic 'everyone should play nice' expectations - or worse 'All do what you want, or can get away with' arbitrariness of unwritten nebulous ASSUMED laws. No laws being written down is hard to conceive of other than being legal/societal Chaos (Police are NOT judges and need to know exactly what they are to enforce, and any 'private' Police similarly must be limited and be held accountable). Ryan said "I will make No Law", he is giving the power to decide the laws to the Citizens, but he would STILL have the laws be enforced consistently, and offenders to face a legal court to maintain lawful order - all so that the Achievers which he (and his Philosophy) are trying to foster -- To have a stable environment, and not face Law based on who has the most gold or the biggest club or can throw a bomb the soonest.
All/Only Private Police/Security ??? As I said before : Commercial areas where someone will pay ... fine. But what about all the places where no one will/can pay ? What is the default for such places ? The law of the jungle ? The Wild West ? Would Ryan want a city half filled with chaos, with 'bunker mentality' ? Not very likely for what Rapture was supposed to be. Commonly understood laws IS the basis of order (if the City wasn't public atheism, they could at minimum point at the Bible to reinforce 'law', but in Rapture they don't even have that backbone of Western Civilization).
The People decide what the laws are. OK, but how is that then to be achieved ? How do you have recognized consensus, UNLESS you announce the decided rules being made TO the populace, so they know what Law they have to live under (and count on having enforced upon ALL the population).
SO again by simple logic (and assuming that Rapture isn't supposed to be a feeble Fantasy place where 'Law' just happens by Magic'), such a place requires a plausible Law Enforcement system to exist. Written Laws (whatever they are - sufficient for a 'City' full of thousands of people) - much of it originally being preset BEFORE the immigrants came (Yes - Predefined as a system minimized from what exists 'up there', but allowing for Personal Rights and security of personal property). That system would be defined to allow needed additions/modifications to be made by consensus (including represenative bodies like the Rapture City Council), already in effect across Rapture's time of existence (10+ years). Courts of some kind would be appointed by consensus/represenatives to Interpret and be given authority to apply those laws. Then should exist some kind of CONSISTANT law enforcement under the common laws for ALL the public places (it can still be hired from a private entity to provide the manpower - but needs to ADHERE to the common laws). Within the scope of private property there would be allowed further 'security' enhancements (but STILL to be constrained by the overriding common laws).
To blame Rapture's fall upon 'no laws' and 'only individualism' is plain foolishness and intellectual dishonest, and an insult to us.
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