A young computer whiz kid accidentally connects into a top secret super-computer which has complete control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It challenges him to a game between America and Russia, and he innocently starts the countdown to World War 3. Can he convince the computer he wanted to play a game and not the real thing ? Written by
Colin Tinto <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Falken starts the film for David and Jennifer, he uses the phrase "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin." This was the opening line from Listen with Mother, BBC radio program for children which ran between 1950 and 1982. It is likely that Falken's son Joshua would have listened to this program. See more »
The scene in which one of the radar analysts is asked to report activity showing Soviet submarine deployment, he says, "22 Typhoon-class submarines departing Petropavlovsk, turning south bound at Nordkapp." However, the screen displays submarines around a map of the Kola Peninsula in European Russia. Petropavlovsk is located on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Asian Russia. The location shown on the map is accurate, however, as all of the Typhoons were based at Nerpichya Base which is located on the Kola Peninsula. See more »
I loved it when you nuked Las Vegas. Suitably biblical ending to the place, don't you think?
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A movie of its time, mandatory viewing for hackers
One important piece of reality in this movie is when David Lightman looks for the computer game company, and stumbles across WOPR, by using a program that automatically calls every number in an area looking for a carrier. Such a program was called, after this movie came out, a "Wargames dialer" or a "Wardialer". And today, as well as old fashioned wardialing, we have wardriving, warstrolling, warchalking... war everything else, because of this movie. And have you heard of the annual hacker convention, held in Las Vegas, called.... Defcon? There are, of course, factual problems with this movie, some of which one just accepts as necessary to the ploy. When David plugs the speech synthesizer into his computer, he explains that the computer isn't really speaking, just interpreting the text that's coming in. We can't have an entire movie just looking at a video screen, so we accept that. But then at the end, Joshua speaks the climactic lines of the movie in the same voice, which makes no sense at all. The way that Joshua could find one character at a time of the password never did wash. And the paper clip method could only make a local call.
The nuclear freeze movement was certainly quite strong in the '80s, more so than many today realize. I hope you understand what "freeze" means, because it's not the same as disarmament. It means: lets just stop throwing money down this black hole by stopping the nuclear arms race where it is. Who cares if they can reduce us fine powder and we can only reduce them to sand. Ronald Reagan outmaneuvered the freeze movement with all that SDI nonsense, which was just another excuse to waste money and extend the arms race into space. With Reagan, it's hard to tell, of course: maybe he really thought it was a "purely defensive" system, that could "make nuclear weapons obsolete". When the Soviet Union finally collapsed, there was talk of a "peace dividend", in which the obscene amount of money previously spent on the arms race could actually help people at home. There ain't too much talk about that now, with the "War on Terror", which is a war about as much as the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty, and just about as successful.
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