This weekend my main computer decided to rebel. It didn’t exactly crash. It just decided there were a few important things it didn’t want to do anymore. I tried all the fix-it tools in my toolbox and still it refused to move from its choices. So, I am drafting this post on a shiny new PC.
Anyway, this got me thinking about technology run amuck in SciFi. Here are three SciFi treasures worth digging up from the past.
“Want to play a game?” That is the question asked by the defence super computer in this great 80s flick. When a young hacker accidentally logs onto a military computer with the ability to play games with the country’s nuclear arsenal ,what starts out as a simulation becomes too real for comfort. He has to find a way to convince the computer to halt the game without launching the weapons. As many good SciFi stories do, this one reflects the era’s worry and concerns, in this case it’s nuclear escalation in the cold war, but done in a fun and hopeful way.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
In this classic another computer goes a little psychotic. I can’t really explain what this movie is about and I can’t even claim it’s one of my favorites, but it is definitely a must see for the genre.
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
This one gets lots of criticism and the tech reeeeaaallly doesn’t hold up well, but the idea at the core is really pretty cool. If the brian is nature’s best computer, why not find a way to use it for data storage? A courier carrying too much data runs into trouble and risks loosing his mind. If you don’t get too picky and just go with it, this movie is a fun cyberpunk adventure. Transhumanism for the big screen.
What are your favorites?
These are just a few of the many SciFi movies that highlight technology gone wrong. Even blockbusters like Jurassic Park, Eagle Eye, and IRobot fall into this category. So, what are your favorites?