In The Question Concerning Technology, one of the least detailed points that Heidegger covered was that while technology is dangerously used to enframe, it also has the power to “save.” He interpreted Hölderlin’s quote to mean that enframing is destined to, at some point, actually reveal the truth. Gamer certainly shows the danger in viewing humans as standing reserve in gory detail, and quite obviously forces the viewer to examine the ethics of this practice. Therefore, in contrast, the scene showing the saving power of technology is the one in which ethics don’t play a part at all.
This scene is the one in which the leader of “humanz” contacts Simon directly and talks him into giving Kable freedom. In my opinion, Neveldine/Taylor intentionally make this interaction feel incongruous with the rest of the movie’s “all of this is so wrong” mentality. If you recall, the leader just tells Simon that he has to set Kable free in order to win the game.
No moral argument? No guilt-tripping this obviously wealthy, uncaring 17-year-old? No showing him exactly what he’s doing in a grotesque fashion, like the rest of the entire movie does? This could be the most important moment of Kable’s life, and the leader of a group calling themselves humanz isn’t going to make an ethical statement about practically enslaving another human being?
I’m obviously dramatizing, but this scene was honestly baffling to me at the time. After some consideration, my conclusion is that the directors wanted to convey that Simon was so immersed in this reality of controlling people that the moral argument wouldn’t affect him at all. He would probably say, “so what?” However, the cold statement “this is the only way for you to win the game” is what is shown to cause him to set Kable free. (Additionally, later on when he takes control of Kable to kill Ken Castle, there’s no concrete indication that he’s doing it for moral reasons, it could just be another game to him.)
Stepping away from Simon’s mental issues, this scene clearly shows Heidegger’s suggestion of a saving power within the danger of technology. Although this dystopian world has progressed as far as to completely dehumanize people to standing reserves of entertainment, Simon’s enframing of his slayer is what allows him to set Kable free, and assigns truth to Hölderlin’s words. Heidegger’s interpretation of “saving” to mean “uncovering the truth” also holds true in Gamer, as Simon’s decision to save Kable ultimately sets the events in motion that showed the true nature of “Society” and “Slayer” to the world.
This scene also shows another layer to the depth of enframing occurring within this society. Even the leader of “humanz” falls prey to this trap of dehumanizing people. When he tells Simon to set Kable free to win the game, he just views him as a means to an end, specifically as just a tool to get Kable free so that he can start a revolution. I assume that a moral argument wouldn’t have swayed Simon at all, but it still should have been made. If the leader of “humanz” had cared about Simon as a person at all, he would have tried to educate him, to better him as a human being. Instead, he just says whatever he believes will manipulate Simon into doing what he wants him to, with no regard to the consequences that Simon could (and did) have to face. However, it is this heartless manipulation that leads to the freeing of society, and so Heidegger’s theory is showcased once again.