Gamer, not a game at all

A futuristic society completely controlled by media seems far-fetched but in Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor’s film Gamer it becomes very clear, through the “games” of “Society” and “Slayers,” a modern society can become subject to the possibilities of one technological entity controlling most of what an average person does in a day. It may seem ridiculous to compare our non-fiction lives to the fictional lives of the characters in Gamer, but one must realize we are taking steps to towards that already.

The “Humanz” are the last bridge between any link to the original human whom lived without technology and those humans who are already, and are becoming Post Human. Which is for the most part and for ease of understanding, a human who isn’t separated from technology in any sort of way. We are first introduced to the idea of Post Human in Donna Haraway’s “A Manifesto for Cyborgs.” When analyzing this idea of Post Human in comparison to the movie Gamer I am immediately drawn to what Ken Castle, played my Michael C. Hall, is trying to do. Which is take control of the human race in order to use technology to influence the world in his image. He is creating the idea of tech singularity which is the idea of losing all touch with technology which allows it to become autonomous or its own “being.”

The use of the “Humanz” would play right into what Donna Haraway and Martin Heidegger warn us about. The “Humanz” attempt with all their power, before failing, to try to take back the world and not let it enframe the workers in “Society” and the fighters in “Slayer.” Society has started, in Gamer, to only see these two “games” as just a game with no regard for what they are doing to the people in either of them, which is very dangerous for the society as a whole.

I found it very interesting throughout the movie how it would portray the control Ken Castle and his games he created had over the world. Multiple times they would show people reacting to moments occurring during “Slayers,” for example, the first win we see John Tillman/ Kable get or rather a better example would be when Kable “dies.” The world is so drawn in by the game that they do not realize that people are truly losing their lives and that watching these games is only feeding into more control that Castle has over the world. There is no escaping technology in the world in the movie Gamer. We see one inmate attempt to “escape” by ripping his chip out which is later just put back in. To me there is a bigger meaning behind that is much more relatable in our lives right now unrelated to the movie. We say we are taking a step back from technology but after retreating back to the idea Heidegger proposed to us, standing reserve, a human will never actually be able to step away from technology and remove themselves completely. This is because we, as a world community, have an addictive personality that feeds us to constantly want more and more. The technology is a standing reserve to us and we are a standing reserve to technology, thus creating a vicious cycle of desiring technology.

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One Response to Gamer, not a game at all

  1. pittpanther8 says:

    I really like the point you make about humans having an addictive personality that is always craving more. This leads to the fact that we will always immersing more of our personal information and lives into technology. Today it’s a smartwatch that can tell you the weather based on your location, Amazon recommending products based on previous shopping habits, or airlines changing prices based on internet traffic and buying patterns. The future will only involve our personal information into more and more technology and where will it end? At one point do we stop using technology and technology starts using us like Gamer? I think you a raise a great point that wanting more and more technology might not lead to what we want it to.


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