WarGames: The 1983 Classic That's Still Relevant Today - Teally Fox Movie Review
WarGames (1983) by Teally Fox
I cannot believe WarGames turned 40 this year and is still so surprisingly (and at times eerily) relevant. Take the DOS screens, landline phone connections, bulky computer monitors (320x200 was the absolute top of the line back then if you can wrap your brain around it!), and paper magazines out of the equation and you still have a thriller based on the idea that AI could conceivably destroy the world. Yeah, in 1983 baby-faced Matthew Broderick and Alley Sheedy were racing to save the world from nuclear annihilation using the card catalog, a rotary phone and a computer with less processing power than a fitbit. And if that's not enough to pique your interest there’s also a trek through a NORAD military base, a Pterodactyl, and what is the most ingenious way to butter an ear of corn I’ve ever seen (I kid you not, it’s life changing). All that aside, WarGames greatest strength is the way it turns from a movie about characters thinking they are playing a game, to the audience feeling like they’re in one. It starts with plot progression, happening parallel to the main characters, having the appearance of cut scenes from a game, expositing military events. Then the characters (now more like players) unlock new skills, abilities, and resources as they encounter new people and situations, all of which will be critical in ultimately winning the game (saving the world from AI sanctioned ruin). By the time all involved are assembled for the final showdown against the computer, the tension is palpable with the need for split second decision making necessary. All this, while surrounded by a crowd, not unlike kids hovering around a player about to beat the high score on an old school video game cabinet in an arcade. Shockingly riveting, WarGames takes all the best parts of a video game and wraps them with the excitement of Cold War era espionage to make for an electrifying good time.
WarGames, classic thriller, sci-fi, artificial intelligence, AI, Matthew Broderick, Alley Sheedy, NORAD, military base, Pterodactyl, butter an ear of corn, plot progression, cut scenes, gameplay, skills, abilities, resources, final showdown, tension, split second decision making, crowd, arcade, Cold War era espionage, electrifying good time
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