For the level of the same name, see The Thinker (Level).
Thinker portrait2
BioShock 2-The Thinker - The Thinker's Core f0366

The Thinker's Computer Core.

What's the secret of Rapture Central Computing's success? The most advanced computing device in the world - The Thinker!
― Rapture Central Computing advertisement[src]

The Thinker is the nickname of the Rapture Operational Data Interpreter Network (R.O.D.I.N.),[1] the mainframe computer invented by Charles Milton Porter to process all of the automation in Rapture.



The Thinker Statue

Porter's statue of The Thinker displayed at the entrance of the Den.

When Charles Milton Porter arrived in Rapture, invited by Andrew Ryan, he founded Rapture Central Computing, the source of computerization in Rapture,[1] with Reed Wahl.[2] Computers were built to facilitate research, business and to control various workings and functions of the city's infrastructure, effectively thinking for the citizens.[1] Trying to surpass Alan Turing, whom he had worked with on the surface, Porter worked to create The Thinker to achieve artificial Intelligence.[3] Using the technologies Rapture had to offer, and harnessing the power of ADAM,[4] he created a computer which could process data at "the speed of thought".[1] With the completion of the Independent Reasoning Processor, he finally created an artificial intelligence. The machine was eventually nicknamed after both the statue of The Thinker Porter brought from the surface to display at the Den and its acronym.[5]

While Wahl used The Thinker to predict scores of ballgames and stock prices, Porter tried to replicate the mind of his dead wife Pearl,[6] who had been killed during London's WW2 bombings.[7] Porter fed The Thinker with records of his wife, trying to recreate her personality in the computer and duplicate her voice. Wahl, influenced by splicing, imagined the computer as a way to predict everything with an algorithm — a "crystalline equation which determines ALL".[8] The two partners began a conflict for The Thinker's purpose. Using the growing tensions of Rapture, Wahl created false evidence of Porter's allegiance to Frank Fontaine, resulting in Porter being incarcerated in Persephone. Wahl was then put in control of Rapture Central Computing by Ryan.[9] Wahl later cut the Minerva's Den district off from the rest of the city, so as to remain the sole user of The Thinker. During the Civil War, the computer was assigned to control a majority of Rapture's security systems.

Minerva's DenEdit

Main article: Minerva's Den

In the Minerva's Den DLC, Charles Milton Porter allies himself with Brigid Tenenbaum and Subject Sigma to get The Thinker out of Rapture to find a cure for splicing. To do so, Sigma must defeat Reed Wahl and take control of The Thinker away from him, take its codes and allow the rebuilding of the computer on the surface. As Sigma progresses through Minerva's Den, Wahl uses The Thinker against him, freezing the entrance to the computer's core. Wahl claims that he can predict Sigma's every move. When Sigma finally reaches the core, Wahl realizes The Thinker has been working against him, and shuts it down before attacking Sigma. After Wahl is killed, Tenenbaum tells Sigma to take the Administrator Punchcard from Wahl's body and re-activate The Thinker, preventing Rapture's remaining automated systems from collapsing. The Thinker then reveals that Subject Sigma is, in fact, Charles Milton Porter himself. The Porter that had been communicating with Sigma was The Thinker using its personality duplication system to replicate Porter's persona. The Thinker had concealed its true identity and motivations from Reed Wahl, and provided Sigma with a familiar face and voice to facilitate communication. After reactivating the Thinker, Porter prints out its codes and heads to the surface with Tenenbaum. Porter is shown restored and visiting his dead wife's grave.

Audio DiaryEdit

Minerva's DenEdit


Spoiler Alert! Bioshock 2 Minerva's Den The Thinker Quotes Dialogue

Spoiler Alert! Bioshock 2 Minerva's Den The Thinker Quotes Dialogue


Concept Art, Models and Pre-ReleaseEdit

In-Game ImagesEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The acronym of the Thinker's formal name, Rapture Operational Data Interpreter Network, is RODIN, a reference to Auguste Rodin, the artist that created the sculpture The Thinker.[10] A copy of this statue can be seen in the main lobby of Minerva's Den.[11]
  • The Thinker is also the name of the computer that runs most of the city in the Logan's Run novel.
  • Public Announcements claim The Thinker controls a majority of Rapture's advancements. This includes self-opening doors, the Pneumo system, 'dispatching trains' (Atlantic Express Automated train system), connecting phone calls, controlling oxygen supplies, which foods appear in vending machines, and keeping technology throughout Rapture functioning correctly.
    • According to Felix Birnbaum, The Thinker was also responsible for other automated networks such as the bathysphere public transport systems and security systems, calculating probabilities for new Plasmids, and regulating water pressures within the city's infrastructures.[12]
      • This explains how so much of Rapture's systems remain functioning after so many years, as The Thinker has remained perfectly preserved and capable of maintaining them.
  • The Thinker is voiced by Michael Csurics.[13]
  • Like The Thinker, the Fontaine Futuristics headquarters building uses messages generated with an artificial voice, though sounding more feminine and created from individually recorded words and phrases. The system is notably used to scan the company's employees and grant them access to the building's various sections, according to their security clearance in the database. According to The Thinker's announcement, Fontaine Futuristics' system updates information for The Thinker.
  • The Thinker was heavily based on SHODAN from System Shock 2. Both are AIs that assist the player in reaching a goal, under someone else's identity.[14][15]
  • Although The Thinker is able to manipulate data and apply them to industrial processes (for example dispatching Atlantic Express trains), the first real programmable logic controller was only invented in 1968 for General Motors.[16]
  • In a few unused notifications The Thinker mentions some of the events happening in real time during the course of BioShock 2's story, such as Subject Delta lifting the transit lockdown in Pauper's Drop, Sofia Lamb flooding Siren Alley, and Delta using biometric scanners in Fontaine Futuristics.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Charles Milton Porter's Audio Diary: The Thinker
  2. Radio Message in Minerva's Den
  3. Charles Milton Porter's Audio Diary: The Turing Test
  4. BioShock 2 Help Caption for The Thinker
  5. Andrew Ryan's Audio Diary: Attracting the Looters
  6. Reed Wahl's Audio Diary: The Thinker's Potential
  7. Charles Milton Porter's Audio Diary: Nothing But Ashes
  8. Reed Wahl's Audio Diary: The Predictive Equation
  9. Andrew Ryan's Audio Diary: Porter's Legacy
  10. The Thinker on Wikipedia
  11. "The Secrets of Minerva's Den" article on the Cult of Rapture
  12. Felix Birnbaum's Audio Diary: Behind the Scenes
  13. BioShock 2 Credits
  14. How System Shock 2 Inspired BioShock 2's Best DLC - IGN Unfiltered on IGN
  15. Playing Through BioShock 2: Minerva's Den With Its Creators - IGN First on YouTube
  16. Programmable logic controller on Wikipedia
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