In my opinion, Neveldine and Taylor’s film Gamer has an overwhelmingly solid connection to Donna Haraway’s “A Manifesto for Cyborgs.” Gamer is not only a strong representation of a post-human society and cyborgs, as Haraway’s essay is as well, but it also portrays a certain type of irony of which Haraway speaks in great detail. This irony used by Neveldine and Taylor in their film is precisely what makes their film so interesting. While the world and the experiences that they presented were extremely radical and far-reaching, those aspects of the film are exactly what causes the 21st century viewer to make such a strong connection to the film, and to be drawn in by it to such a great extent. It may seem extreme at first glance, but there are countless aspects of the film that connect today’s actual world to that fictional world in Gamer. According to Donna Haraway, “The cyborg is a matter of fiction and lived experience…” and “…the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.” What Haraway is saying here is that humans are in fact cyborgs, there is no difference between two. The reality that we live in today is emulated very well by the extreme reality that was created in Gamer. The science-fictional reality in Gamer has more similarities to actual reality than one may truly know, and this is the ultimate irony of the film that pulls the viewers in.
The most prominent aspect of the film that draws connection to the lives of people today is the gaming aspect. More specifically, the very first scene of the film. During this scene, Kable is jumping and dodging behind barriers, shooting down his opposition left and right, and literally risking life and death to make it to the ever elusive “save point”. Kable (actually controlled by Silverton) frantically swings his weapon back and forth, mowing down enemies, all the while not a single bullet, or in this scene’s case a two story fall onto the hood of a car, is enough to take the soldier’s life. If that doesn’t describe this current generation, then I’m not sure what does. What I mean is that video games in today’s day and age (specifically first person shooters) are so abundant and common that just about every person in this generation has some type of connection to them. Whether it be Call of Duty, Gears of War, BioShock, or any other shooter game of recent years, seemingly everyone knows what it’s like to feel invincible and just flat out badass in a game setting. All of this action during the first scene is also presented in such a way that makes it feel as if you are the one playing this game and controlling Kable as he dominates the level, which makes the connection between the movie and the viewer even stronger. As Steven Shaviro points out in his essay, “Gamer,” this is done through the camera angles and fast cuts between those different angles. While these camera angles may not be exactly the same as those in actual first person shooters, the way that Neveldine and Taylor decide to jump between the varying angles still makes it seem as if you are in a game rather than watching a movie.
What makes this whole connection to the film ironic is exactly what makes us really feel this connection. While most films of the past and even today draw connections from their viewers through the use of things such as love or friendship or other apathetic moments, Gamer takes a completely different route and draws its connection through the use of the most dominant media of the time: gaming. The world created by Neveldine and Taylor is absolutely crude, obscene, and farfetched, but this radical world is exactly what the people of this generation are used to seeing. We live for games that challenge our reality and allow us to do things that are only achievable in our dreams, and that is precisely what the games “Society” and “Slayer” present to the audience of the film. To think that the world in Gamer, a tremendously different world from our own, can cause people to feel such a strong link to the film seems unusual, but that is exactly what it does.