STARRING: Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, Ally Sheedy, Barry Corbin

1983, 110 Minutes, Directed by: John Badham

wargames.jpg (17561 bytes)Long before the term "cyberspace" was so much as glint in an overeager journalist on a slow news day's eye, a teenage hacker (Matthew Broderick) broke into a defence computer and almost unleashed World War III in the process.

Having an artificial intelligence, which controlled the American defence systems, that misinterprets its command parameters also helped of course . . .

The out-of-control Artificial Intelligence is, of course, nothing new. It has been done before - perhaps most stunningly in 2001. But WarGames was to play around with several ideas that would years later become sci-fi clichés. But back then (in 1983) when most of us haven't so much as touched the keys on an IBM XT or so much as heard of the Internet, this film was something quite fresh and new.

Exciting and well-paced, the film also had a lot to say about leaving too much in the, um, hands of those IBM-compatible home computers. Today, with Windows 95, it is a lesson that we have already learnt . . .



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