A murder inside the high-tech world of a virtual reality game leads Scully to battle a deadly digital character in order to save Mulder's life.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Ivan Martinez
Lo-Fat (as Michael Ray Bower)
Ryan Todd ...
James Geralden ...
Detective Lacoeur
Security Guard
Christopher Ng ...
Darryl Musashi


The Lone Gunmen request Mulder and Scully's assistance in a murder case at a video game company. A virtual reality game has gone haywire, and players are dying for real at the hands of Maitreya, the central character in this game. Mulder and Scully enter the game in an attempt to find and stop the killer. Written by Muldernscully

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TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 February 2000 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


All the special effects needed for the episode meant the episode nearly went over budget. The production crew ended up borrowing different virtual game layouts from video game companies to cut costs. See more »


At 39 min. 55 sec. in when Scully is faced with a Tank in the games 2nd Level, the door to exit the game behind her is clearly open when moments before it's closed and Mulder is shown trying to pry it open with his sword. See more »


Fox Mulder: [Mulder prepares to enter the gamezone] Bring it on.
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References Raging Bull (1980) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

Technical issues aside, plot is terrible
31 December 2015 | by (Portland, OR) – See all my reviews

As a software engineer who graduated college with a minor in English, I tend to give a lot of leeway to writers who attempt to create a compelling plot within the computing world. However, the plot of this episode demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of software and computing at even the most basic level. This ignorance, combined with a climax that was portrayed as a tense moment that came across as one eye gouge short of slapstick, leads me to wonder if this episode was intended to be a mid-season comedy relief episode and that the director was just effing oblivious to the author's intent.

Sadly, this episode was three sentences shy of being the standard x- files trope. Simply have the female developer, Phoebe, talk about how she programmed the character using a machine learning API, then have Mulder and the geek squad spew a line like, "Skully, what if by pouring all her anxiety into this digital character, Phoebe somehow caused the programming to become self aware?" Then remove the part where Mulder magically got sucked into the computer and then inexplicably wasn't. Even with these changes, the episode wouldn't be great, but it wouldn't be too far off the mark from previous episodes they've done (S05E11 - Kill Switch).

The only redeeming element of this episode, and the only reason why I give it two stars instead of one star, is that they address the idea that video games can be a healthy outlet for frustration and anxiety. Even here, however, they woefully missed the mark by pushing the idea that only men like video games, failing to point out how critical video games have proved to be in helping people cope with all levels of depression and that many, MANY studies have shown that there is ZERO correlation to violent video games leading to people acting out violence in real life (the caveat here being that people who are *already* violent will likely turn to violent games as an outlet -- violent games are a warning sign and symptom, not a cause).

I can only surmise that the authors had the 1yr anniversary of Columbine in their heads, wanted to write something on the topic, but never had enough time to hash out the plot properly.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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