We’ve done some research - yeah, we be book-smart - for some insight into some of our favorite games andcompiled a bunch of our results below for your reading pleasure.
The Origin of Rapture
Rapture, the underwater city in forthcoming blockbuster BioShock, is so-called after a phenomenon experienced by scuba-divers called “nitrogen narcosis” - famously described by Jacques Cousteau as “the rapture of the deep.” Its trigger is a high nitrogen pressure within the body that in turn has an effect on nerve transmission - leaving a sufferer in a state akin to that of drunkenness or temporary mental imbalance. Divers suffering from this rapture have been known to feel extreme over-confidence, while some anecdotal stories (based on reality) have divers offering their oxygen supplies to nearby fish and stopping for cigarette breaks during their descent.
Less extreme cases, meanwhile, have prompted feelings of exhaustion, paranoia and extreme anxiety. The city of Rapture then, a deep-sea seat of madness, scientific over-confidence and delusion, is entirely aptly named. It is also perhaps a reference to the rapture discussed in several branches of Christian belief in which at a specific point, the worthy ascend to a utopian heaven to join with Christ - although in this case, the utopia the worthy have been selected for is down below rather than up above.