IGN PC has posted a short Q&A with Irrational Games' Ken Levine about the significance of the medical facility in their upcoming FPS/RPG hybrid, BioShock.
Q: In the video, we read a spray-painted poster that reads "Aesthetics are a morale imperative" under a sign that reads Doctor Steinman's "Aesthetic Ideals" and a picture of a woman with a "before" and "after" face. Aesthetics have clearly gone wrong in Rapture the same way that so many people assume Hollywood actors and actresses should have perfectly honed physiques and altered breasts and faces in American movies. Is there a particular part of the story that deals with aesthetics or is this just one more facet of Rapture's society that's gone wrong? And could you fill us in on the doctor's role in it all?
A: I don't want to spoil too much about Steinman, but I will say you learn a lot about him. One of the great things about BioShock is that while it is a first-person shooter to the core, for players who love story there's an incredibly rich story there for those who want to experience it.
Dr. Steinman, as he starts going crazier, takes over the whole medical area. You hear his diaries: "Why am I trapped within normal interpretations of beauty? Why can't I be more like Picasso?" He wants to be allowed non traditional, even cubist interpretations of beauty. Eventually he starts walking down the hallways, thinking he's talking to Aphrodite about beauty. And you follow this descent into insanity. You hear about his descent, you see it on the walls. Eventually you come across his surgery theater and encounter him operating. He's not happy to see you. That's like a subchapter in the story of BioShock.