"Hacking" was a big part of BioShock - the dark and addictive first person shooter. To progress through the story, you had to solve mini-games, little puzzles that unlocked key portions of the experience.
I wasn't crazy about this. To me, it stopped the action and took away from the otherwise awesome pacing.
The old style "hacking" isn't going to be as goofy in BioShock 2.
Check out this little video interview with the game's lead designer, Zak McClendon. Hacking has now been integrated more seamlessly into the gameplay experience, so you can solve puzzles WHILE getting shot (how's that for multi-tasking?).
Also, it's commendable that the developers are making hacking a heroic skill. There's a lot of negative buzz in the media lately about the scourge of game hackers, the people pirating games, online and off. Of course hacking is not always a bad thing, and BioShock, maybe, is helping to put it back in the geeky and proper light.
David Kushner is the author of many books, including Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic & the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, The Bones of Marianna, and Alligator Candy. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine.