The French love bread, cheese and wine. These are stereotypes. To be fair, who doesn’t love these things? They are wonderful. Anyway. A recent tweet showing a little Parisian boy dancing around a small street pillar and holding a baguette over his head in BioShock Infinite has gone viral, leaving many wondering why he’s here. The developer responsible for this character finally answered this question, and the answer wasn’t as deep as some thought.
The moment in question takes place during the Burial at Sea DLC, in the alternate reality of Infinite. Thus, some have suggested that the boy is there to portray the version of France that Elisabeth only imagined as a child through books, paintings, and brief flashes of imagery. The moment a blue bird lands on a finger and chirps La Vie En Rose, Disney-esque, reinforces this theory.
However, these conclusions are wrong, and the reality is quite funny. Game developer Gwen Frey told how the boy with the baguette appeared.
According to Frey, she was responsible for populating the Parisian scene with bobbleheads – people who made the scene more alive, but who did not have AI, so as not to degrade the performance of the game.
She decided to add a couple of children to the scene to give it more movement, and reused the dancing couple animation seen earlier in the game (yes, game developers reuse animation to save time and money).
When she scaled down the animation, there were some problems – the legs were going through the ground, and the arms were going through each other. So, after some tweaking, Frey fixed the collision, but noticed that their arms were now much higher than their heads. And she just removed the boy’s dance partner and added bread. It was an economical and creative solution to a problem that is now over-interpreted and has gone viral.
This is a wonderful story that shows how magical games can be, and also proves that meaning and meaning can be given to those things that actually had a very trivial reason. The fans love the bread boy one of them even cosplayed him.