Monday, September 7, 2009

Let's Play a Game

I will start off by saying I wasn't a big fan of this movie. The plot line was similar to that of Jason Statham's Death Race in that a prisoner in jail has to play a game (or be in a race) and if he wins a certain number of times he will be released and be reunited with his family. Both movies had a little too much blood and guts for my taste. And of course a lot of death. Pretty much the perfect movie for a teenage boy.

However, there's a pretty big catch in Gamer. The game he has to win is actually a video game. In that there's a human being who is able to controlling the prisoner, and the prisoner doesn't get to make any decision himself. But think about it from the player's point of view instead of playing a game and controlling an imaginary character you're controlling a real live person.

In the movie they say this started out with a different less violent game called Society. This was a game similar to The Sims, except again your sim was actually a human. Its a pretty interesting social dilemma. Yes, the "characters" in the game are being paid for their work, but they have lost the ability to control their own actions. And the person doing the controlling actual gets to live their fantasy life from the comfort of their own living room.

If I'm being honest, if something like this actually existed I think I might succumb to the temptations and play as would a lot of other people. But then you have to think of the type of person who would be willing to sign up to "act" in a game like this. Maybe people who have no drive and don't want to make any decisions, but more likely people who are poor and found an easy way to make money without having to do any of the work.

I'd like to think our society would never deem something like this to be acceptable. But you never know what the future might hold, however unlikely it may be. Luckily one can let this movie stand as a cautionary tell, in that just because you can do something doesn't mean you have to.

On a final note I wouldn't necessarily recommend the actual movie. But I do think the ideas it proposes are interesting. And well, if you do enjoy watching people got blown to smithereens then this might be the movie for you.



  1. I saw that movie last night, too and the idea of the world ever getting like that is really freaky.

    That big, fat guy controlling the main characters wife really freaked me out. I really hope our world never comes to that!

  2. We almost watched that! We ended up seeing All About Steve.