BioShock Interview

GameSpot was able to track down BioShock lead designer Ken Levine for a lengthy interview about the game's copy protection, broken Big Daddy figurines, the Little Sister controversy, and more. This surprises me:
Q: Some Big Daddy figurines with the collector's edition arrived broken. What happened to them, and what should customers do if they were stuck with one of the banged up Big Daddy figurines?

A: You know those giant shipping containers on boats? Some guy had one of those shipping containers with half of the Big Daddy figures for the world in them and it slipped out of a crane loop and fell onto the dock. And cracked a zillion of the Big Daddy figures. Of course, they didn't make two times as many figures as they expected to need, so we ended up with a bunch of people getting broken Big Daddies.

So what 2K did was they said this was a problem and people would be pissed off, understandably. They preordered this collector's edition months ago and the best thing in it besides the game is broken. I'm trying to remember the exact details of how this works, but the [important thing] is we'll get you a new Big Daddy and a printed art book as a way of saying sorry and thanks for your patience.

So the shipping container was dropped from a crane, but the figurines inside weren't inspected before shipping them out to customers? Something tells me we weren't supposed to know that. And a bit about the harvesting/rescuing controversy:
Q: Obviously you knew the harvesting or rescuing the Little Sisters and the way it is presented to the player would have to be handled delicately. Did you ever entertain the notion of handling it another way?

A: (laughs) Let me put it this way: My goal was never to sell copies through any kind of prurient content. If you look at the game in general, there's no gibs [an enemy exploding in a cloud of bloody chunks] in the game. The game is really more about a feeling of dread than it is about gore. There is some gore in the game, but I think it's to get across the idea of what happened to Rapture. I think I put a much higher level of sensitivity to how any violence issue was handled in regard to Little Sisters, because whenever you involve something that may or may not be a child, the sensitivity level goes up.

What I wanted to do there was get across a certain story and moral choice notion, not make something that could repulse people and turn people off from the story question I was putting forward and onto an explicitness question. And I wouldn't want anybody that was not a healthy person to get any remote enjoyment out of a sequence that was never intended to be enjoyable, just illustrative of a moral choice being made.

So I think we were more careful about that sequence than anything else in the game, but we were careful about everything in the game. The whole game was, "Where do we draw the lines here?" And not the lines about if we're going to offend anybody, but what makes the point of the game as effectively as we want to make it. And with a game like BioShock, particularly with its setting, every aesthetic call is challenging. This one is definitely more challenging, but I'm happy where we ended up.