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Thread: Bird or Cage...

  1. #1
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    Bird or Cage...

    What do they represent?

  2. #2
    If you think being free and subject to the dangers of life is better than being safe and imprisoned.

  3. #3
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    I think it's going to be one of the choice factors that occurs throughout the game. There seem to be instances where those symbols are popping up and likely pertain to Elizabeth at the endgame. I really like the symbolism that goes with those though... very poetic and relevant to Columbia being in the sky and all...

  4. #4
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    It'd be cool if the choice you make when she asks you about the necklace in the new video would come back later (possibly endgame). I know there is (SPOILER I guess) an achievement for either picking the bird or the cage, but I think it's a later choice as nothing popped up in the gameplay video when the dev chose the bird necklace.

  5. #5
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    I like how the devs covered it up... All they said was they wanted you to have autonomy with their appearance but the key to free her, the trapped in a tower scenario, Songbird, being in the sky, all play into the theme of freedom vs. being trapped. I'm excited to see how something simple like a necklace choice will effect her later on.
    For instance, in the Lamb of Columbia trailer when she shoves Booker when saying 'Good', she is wearing the cage broach... Interesting ;D

  6. #6
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    I could think about it and come up with all these crazy theories :P
    For instance Cage would represent repression and keeping her locked away and bird would represent setting her free. Honestly I love how there's been plenty of talk and trailers but we're all still pretty much in the dark story-wise (which is how it should be).
    (SPOILERS again for people who dont want to see secret achievements)
    Correcting myself the achievement is "complete the hand of the prophet" and the title of the achievement is The Bird Or The Cage. I have a feeling we may be put in a position where songbird may be a tragic character that we have to chance to "save" or something.
    EDIT: unless Elizabeth is the "bird" it is referring to.

  7. #7
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    Songbird is going to have a very sad story I feel like... I think everyone in the story will; Booker especially. I even think Daisy and Comstock are going to have tragic stories and aren't just going to be these monsters looking to burn, pillage, and conquer. Irrational plays the ambiguous moral grounds so well, I hope they keep that up here.

    I like them choosing the motif of 'the bird or the cage', especially if it represents the issue of being free. So many people fear the proverbial cage and want to be free, so they could really play on people's hopes and fears with it.

  8. #8
    Id pick the bird but im sure Irrational is counting on that. Most people will likely pick the bird so im thinking theres much more than just the simple choice of free or captive. This could have much deeper meanings later on.

  9. #9
    I don't know about anyone else, but I am for sure paying this game more than once. It may sound weird but even the simple choice of the birdcage or the bird will get me to play the game over

  10. #10
    And also my theory is that the cage means something like being trapped with her songbird and I see it in a negative view whereas the songbird may represent her still having love for her jailer (being the songbird) and may cause some affection with the songbird and Elizabeth later on.

  11. #11
    You can't really ask for a clearer semiotic representation of freedom vs. imprisonment. I think it's wise that Irrational aren't placing too much moral weight on these decisions, instead allowing the simple act of choice itself to be a purely symbolic one. Of course, it would be nice is the game's narrative provides some kind of feedback.

    A good story is often open to various interpretations. Different interpretations often hinge on small symbolic details ( I'm thinking of David Lynch's famous use of hair colour ), and these small decisions seem to provide the player with highly personal interpretations of the story without necessarily altering the core narrative.

    So maybe Elizabeth looses her temper with Booker at one point. Maybe it's because he chose the cage, and that might be a valid interpretation of that particular character interaction to the payer who did choose the cage. But what if he chose the bird?
    Maybe Booker encounters an NPC that calls him a sinner. Could that be because Booker didn't choose to be baptised, or is there more to it than that?

    Suddenly a simple, seemingly unimportant detail of the game's story could take on a completely different meaning. This could have a kind of fractal effect on the story as a whole.

    That's a very oversimplified example, but I hope it made some sense.

  12. Freedom vs. Imprisonment as everyone is saying. Although with Songbird taken into consideration they could possibly mean something a little different.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi-Nyarlathotep View Post
    Freedom vs. Imprisonment as everyone is saying. Although with Songbird taken into consideration they could possibly mean something a little different.
    Of course. I'm sure that nothing in Bioshock Infinite will be as simple as it first appears. But breaking those two images and their relationship down to basics, freedom vs. imprisonment is what you get. Wether that holds any deeper significance, and what it all means when the pieces fit together, remains to be seen.

    I haven't even played the game yet and I'm already debating wether or not to use the wash basin in lighthouse. I'm a rationalist and a skeptic through and through, so it will be interesting for me to see how that very simple, ostensibly negligible interaction will impact my own experience with the game.

    That's what I like so far about the choices in this game. I only ever really debated saving a little sister once -- on my first play-through -- before that interaction lost all but every last bit of its emotional impact and thematic resonance. But something as seemingly banal and inconsequential as picking a necklace is sending my mind reeling.

  14. #14
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    Actually my first reaction was to associate the bird necklace with Songbird, and especially as it was on the right and games typically give you a 1) Good Decision 2) Bad Decision option order, I remember thinking that neither option seemed particularly appealing. The bird representing freedom might make more sense, or it might symbolize death-by-songbird. Especially in the context of her asking you to not let her be taken back in the gameplay trailer. They both seem pretty ominous. Not sure if that was the intended reaction, though.

  15. #15
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    I just look at it as: If I were a girl, I would much rather wear a necklace of a bird rather than a cage.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by haticK View Post
    I just look at it as: If I were a girl, I would much rather wear a necklace of a bird rather than a cage.
    seems legit

  17. #17
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    What if they flip the meanings. Like, the cage doesn't nessicerily mean inprisonment and the bird doesn't mean freedom.

    I feel like the symbolism is so straight forward; the cage is bad and the bird is good, for something that looks to be sewn into the plot deeply. There must be some depth to it that we don't know yet.

  18. #18
    Well I know if you pick the bird Elizabeth is happy about it. If you pick the cage, she seems a little bit upset over it but she'll still wear it.

    So.. take that how you will.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesie View Post
    Well I know if you pick the bird Elizabeth is happy about it. If you pick the cage, she seems a little bit upset over it but she'll still wear it.

    So.. take that how you will.
    Out of curiosity, where did you get that from? I find it odd that she'll be upset with you over it. If she didn't want to wear it, why offer the choice in the first place?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by InkDagger View Post
    Out of curiosity, where did you get that from? I find it odd that she'll be upset with you over it. If she didn't want to wear it, why offer the choice in the first place?
    Exactly I have never heard of anything like that and I have been looking at this game for a really long time lol.

  21. #21
    Good god you're asking me to hunt down one of the gazillion hands on reviews I've read...

    Crap.. Well... give me a second.

  22. #22
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    Interesting you found that in an interview, I never ran across that before. Interesting reaction though, I'll be excited to see how both play out in the game.

  23. #23
    I also recall that bit of information.

  24. #24
    Well I've opened enough tabs in chrome is crash my computer and I'm Still unable to find the one I read that mentioned the broach.

    I know I read it in one of these reviews. Someone help me out here?

  25. #25
    I'm pretty sure it was an interview situation where they were talking about the play-through and the choice of wearing the necklace, and they asked what would happen if they picked the cage instead of the bird. Then they followed up and asked would that have any great impact on the story. They said no, not really.

  26. #26
    It was a good review. They talked about Elizabeth a lot.

    God help me if I can find it.

  27. #27
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    I know it's a bit off topic but I had also read a review or two talking about the subtle 'morality' in this game...
    They talked about some guy at a gondola station having a 'suspicious phone conversation' and you can either hurry him up with harsh words or a gun to his face. The former causes you to somehow get knifed in the hand --> the bandage we now are seeing more often on Booker's right hand. Kind of interesting, wonder how these will play out later on...

  28. #28
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    I'm 99% sure it was a podcast if that helps. I remember it too.

    What I'm interested in is the long term effects. The "I'm afraid of YOU" line and he response gets me thinking. What if the bird and possibly similar choices are ultimately the "bad" options because they lead her to become Infinite's evil Eleanor, or something to that effect? What if encouraging freedom and empowering her actually turns her into a monster basically? It's crackpot theories like these that keep me up at night. I need a life.

    EDIT
    Actually, she's wearing the cage when she says that. Never mind.
    Last edited by PotatoCat; 03-03-2013 at 04:52 PM.

  29. #29
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    They already said no choices in the game change the actual story because they are trying to tell a specific story so if it does affect anything it will be minor.

  30. #30
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    I don't know exactly what they represent, (the freedom V imprisonment s the most obvious one) but I got the feeling this is more related to Booker than to Elizabeth. From that phrase in the beginning of the game, it looks like Booker could be the prisoner, having to rescue a girl to be able to pay a debt.(and those theories of how he could be in a endless cycle, always trying to get Elizabeth from Columbia).

    Ow, and the picture that represents the bird and the cage is from a child's toy. In this toy, there is a bird in one side of a round piece of paper, and the cage in the other side. The child would spin(like you do when you animate using several sheets of paper) the piece of paper from the sides, and an optical illusion would form where the kid would see the bird as if he is inside the cage.
    If you think about it...maybe there could be a metaphor in there. Besides, this reminds me of some aspects of Quantum Mechanics, like the Schrodinger's Cat, where the cat is both dead and alive, you can't never know(until of course, you open the box)...and in this toy, the bird is either free or inside the cage, depends of how you see it.

  31. #31
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    So the "Bird or Cage" more has to do with the Thought Experiment...

    Of course if you ever notice in Elizabeth's blue dress appearance, she no longer wears them....hmmm...

  32. #32
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    Personally I like cage necklaces and now I feel slightly worried about picking the cage.

  33. #33
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    Im going to pick that bird necklace

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