Thursday, September 3, 2009

Preliminary Thoughts: Gamer

Watching the previews, the first thing coming to mind for me about Gamer (2009) is the idea of punishment and where our system could go. According to the plot, a new game has come out which uses prisoners as, one could call them sprites, and in return if the prisoner survives for 30 sessions, then that prisoner will be allowed to go free.

I am intrigued by the idea as I am by most alternative punishment systems from penal colonies to freezing criminals in ice cubes. Though I do immediately wonder two things: placing their lives in the hands of children and allowing a criminal who has just been through a traumatic experience back on the street.

Good ideas, probably not. As World War II and Vietnam has taught us, Post-traumatic Stress disorder is a very real thing and can get innocent bystanders killed. Not to mention, children, even if things are explained to them, are going to have a hard time equating their in-game death to the death of a human being. All video games have no consequences. When you get right down to it, no one’s world is going to end if you die in game. Though the idea of a game having major real world consequences goes back as far as War Games (1983) and more recently the horror movie, Stay Alive(2006).

This is in no way to be considered a review of the movie, I have not seen it yet, but simply the thoughts coming to mind from the trailers. I look forward to seeing Gamer after it comes out on September 4th.

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