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Movie of the Day – WarGames

Posted on the 08 March 2013 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

I have never wanted to be a hacker more in my life until I watched WarGames for the first time.  I spend some time playing computer games, but I have never stumbled onto a military server in which I engage in a game called Global Thermonuclear War with an AI named W.O.R.P.  Apparently Matthew Broderick was a gifted hacker in the 80s with Ferris Bueller changing his absences and then that one movie with the monkeys training for space.  He was, for the brief time in my life, my idol…that was until I saw Bullitt and I wanted to be Steve McQueen.

MSDWARG EC001

Once more, a wise-guy teenager tries to prove he’s smarter than any adult-and nearly destroys the whole world in the process-in WarGames. Computer-game aficionado Matthew Broderick inadverently taps into a hush-hush Pentagon computer, then proceeds to inaugurate his favorite game, “Global Thermonuclear War”. What we know, but Broderick doesn’t, is that the Pentagon, hoping to eliminate the chancy “human element” in the event of an actual war, has given its computer total, irreversable control over the launching of nuclear weaponry. Broderick and government official Dabney Coleman race against time to reverse the computer’s resolve to send bombers to Russia. WarGames scored a hit, especially with teenage filmgoers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The biggest thing about this movie that troubles me is how easy it was to break into a military server/computer terminal.  Granted it was a gifted teen like Broderick, but still, you think a machine that decides that the fate of the world is something that can be played on a simple interface of Global Thermonuclear War would be kept under tighter security.  It was like a couple of keystrokes and he was just playing around under the governments nose.  I don’t know man, just the suspension of disbelief is a big leap here, but what the fuck I am game.  I guess maybe I liked this more in knowing that the computer interface wanted to play some computer games, which is pretty damn cool honestly to a young kid.  A smart, active bot that you can challenge yourself with, yeah way better than some lame Mega Man on the NES.

WarGames 1b

Alright, with that security flaw out of the way, WarGames was actually a nice satire about warfare and our cold war standoffs.  The thought of a computer weighing and balancing the outcome of our lives is a frightening thought as it is all boiled down to a game for the computer to figure out.  The well being of our world is shrunk down to this microcosm of playing tic-tac-toe and the fact that the only way to win is to do nothing.  It’s a weird testament to our climate of fear and warfare as we are at a constant stalemate, which is the only way we can still go on with life.  The message was just masked under a suspenseful (for it’s time) movie where the unknown outcome alludes us to the very end.

WarGames certainly was a product of its time with the statements about our society and technology.  It also managed to be a very tense little movie with the finale scene becoming nail biting as we wait to see who wins and loses.  It’s all a game in the grande scheme of things, which is pretty fucking scary.  This should be reclassified as a horror movie.  Or at least a prequel to the Terminator series.  WORP is seriously an early version of Skynet.


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