After watching Cloak and Dagger yesterday, it was just a short hop, skip and a jump to watch WarGames. Both films feature Dabney Coleman, who I see as the quintessential ‘80s actor (although he is still working). And both films were among those I saw time and time again on local TV networks when I was around 12 years old.
WarGames inspired a geeky crush on Ally Sheedy in me, as it did with millions of boys in my generation. It also convinced me that computers are, well, really cool. I still remember connecting my Texas Instruments TI-99 computer to a TV, loading programs from cassette tapes, and pretending I was Mathew Broderick in the film. I guess I am still a computer geek, 25 years later, but never became a very good one.
WarGames is a well-constructed film with some good tension. But even during the height of the cold war, the plot, about a high school computer nerd who accidentally starts, and then helps avert, a large scale nuclear war, was pretty ridiculous. Watching it again today, well after the end of the cold war, I expected it to seem even more ludicrous. But with the WikiLeaks Cable scandal, in which a 23-year-old hacked thousands of highly-classified electronic documents, in recent memory, it does not seem so implausible.