Speculative Fiction Saturday: WarGames, and PAX Prime

WarGamesSince I’m at PAX Prime this weekend, I am posting this Speculative Fiction Saturday review in advance. This is a film with video games as a big part of the storyline. I will have to tell you this was one of my favorite movies back when I was a teenager, and I would have to say there is an influence that I can sense today, not just in me, but other films as well.

WarGames was not only a film that jumpstarted Matthew Broderick’s career, but it addressed something that we all fear: nuclear war. The film opens with two men who are controlling nuclear silos, and the codes come in for them to turn the keys to begin World War III. One of them just can’t find it in his heart to do it, and the other pulls a gun on him.

I didn’t like how the scene suddenly ended, but it cuts to a group of generals and other military uppity-ups at Cheyenne Mountain. Apparently, this is some big military place that really exists, the headquarters for NORAD (North American Aeorspace Defense Command). The military men, along with a man named McKittrick (Dabney Coleman), who believes that it would be better if relays replaced the flesh-and-blood men that might defy an order from on high.

As it so happens, McKittrick has developed a computer system known as the WOPR (War Operation Plan Response), which is programmed to run all kinds of nuclear war simulations. And, if you haven’t seen this film yet, just watch it on Netflix, because I did the other day, and it is even better than I remember it, even if it is somewhat dated. I’ll go ahead and post the rest after the jump.

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