BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games. Irrational Games and creative director Ken Levine based the game's setting on historical events at the turn of the 20th century, such as the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and based the story on the concept of American exceptionalism, while also incorporating influences from more recent events at the time such as the 2011 Occupy movement.
The game is set in the year 1912 and follows its protagonist, former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, who is sent to the airborne city of Columbia to find a young woman, Elizabeth, who has been held captive there for most of her life. Though Booker rescues Elizabeth, the two become involved with the city's warring factions: the nativist and elite Founders that rule Columbia and strive to keep its privileges for White Americans, and the Vox Populi, underground rebels representing the underclass of the city. During this conflict, Booker learns that Elizabeth possesses strange powers to manipulate "Tears" in the space-time continuum that ravage Columbia, and soon discovers her to be central to the city's dark secrets.
BioShock Infinite is set in 1912 and takes place in a fictional steampunk city-state called "Columbia"—named in homage to the female personification of the United States—which is suspended in the air through a combination of giant blimps, balloons, reactors, propellers, and "quantum levitation". The city of Columbia was founded by self-proclaimed prophet Zachary Hale Comstock, who used his connections in Congress to have the American government build the floating city. The government intended Columbia to serve as a floating world's fair and as a display to the rest of the world of the success of American exceptionalism. The city was launched to much fanfare and publicity at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, and was later dispatched to distant shores, travelling from continent to continent.