Saturday, March 19, 2011

GAMER, GAMED, DOD Military Prisoners FOX and Reality in Film


By Kevin Stoda

I find it so ironic. Last night and again this morning, I watched STAR MOVIES and saw the 2009 film, “GAMER” from Gerard Butler.

For years, I have avoided paying for a cable, satellite or other media services from Rupert Murdoch’s, including STAR TV movie channels, etc. as I’ve lived abroad over the decades. However, this year—for the first time—I am receiving satellite for free at my flat, so I do turn to the movie channels of Murdoch’s media conglomerate to get caught up on movies from the past 2 decades. By the way, “Satellite Television Asia Region (STAR) is an Asian TV service owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. In 2009, News Corporation restructured STAR Asia into three units – STAR India, STAR Greater China and Fox International Channels.” Living in Taiwan, I receive the Greater China selections, of course.
“GAMER”, the movie, already has a cult following. Gaming, in general, is a big thing world wide.
Hackers are also in reality waltzing in and out of our world—as we go online or just play games.
Gerard Butler’s “action thriller [is] set in a near future when gaming and entertainment have evolved into a terrifying new hybrid. Humans control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online games: people play people...for keeps. Mind-control technology is widespread, and at the heart of the controversial games is its creator, reclusive billionaire Ken Castle, His latest brainchild, the first-person shooter game ‘Slayers,’ allows millions to act out their most savage fantasies online in front of a global audience, using real prisoners as avatars with whom they fight to the death.”
In some ways, the imaginary billionaire recluse, Ken Castle could represent either Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch or any number of large corporations that control world media, computer games, and massively powerful online gaming sites. These could be FOX, Sony, Times-Warner, GE, or any number of media behemoths and satellite owning firms and nation states.
Gerard Butler has made similar movies before. He has made, for example, “Lara Croft: Cradle of Life” for instance. He has also made cult fighting and action films of world-renown, like “300”. With “Gamer”, Butler almost turns both these genres on their heads by pointing the camera back at the media owners and media producers of the world, who zap our world, our days, our creativity—and leave us zombie-like going through our moments.
In the “Gamer”, the character of John Tillman also known as Kable is also played by director Gerard Butler, himself. “In a future mind-controlling game, death row convicts are forced to battle in a 'doom'-type environment. Convict Kable, controlled by Simon, a skilled teenage gamer, must survive 30 sessions in order to be set free.” Tillman is the convict who was manipulated by the Gamers, like Ken Castle, to kill others, i.e. like a puppet on a string or like a character named Lara Croft on a computer screen.
I do not see this as entirely Sci-Fi stuff. Nor is “Gamer” that far-fetched in the American military’s view of the world.
The allusion to creating a world of zombies through increasing addiction to technology is not at all far-fetched in this drama—and in the world of the American military it is not a stretch. Nor is “Gamer” that far-fetched in the American military’s view of the world.
As early as 2002, I overheard officers from Ft. Hood and Ft. Stills saying that the American military wanted every single soldier to be integrated through their own personal computers to the military network of command—while still having some local autonomy. The next year, Americas expensive and highly technological invasion of Iraq was underway and the world was shown first hand on TV what sort of massive destruction could be carried out in a matter of days using such modern technology and computer digitalized chains of command and weapon manipulations—whereby many soldiers, running dangerous military hardware, can kill so many others through military-gaming-technology.
American soldiers have now been on the ground connected and computerized—even in hand-to-hand combat or going house to house—for a decade now.. The soldiers have to call back digitally to the main chain of command. “I have a clear shot” and await the signal: “Take it.” They do this even when there may appear little threat from the people they are shooting—as we saw on the Wikileaks reportage from early last year.
Likewise, long distance, digital game-players and so-called soldiers in California run exploding drones in Afghanistan. In the meantime, not only has the film, “Gamers’, shown us not-only-what-the-Military-Industrial-Complex has made out of us (as it vacuums up American taxpayers money).
“Gamers” also shows us how addicted America has become to the ever-growing-Prison-Industrial-Complex. In the world of “gamers” corporations are fully funding violent shoot-‘em up prisons, where the main character, Kable, was tricked into playing. In short, he had agreed—due to duplicitous corporate or prison owner manipulation--to play until he died.
For decades, I have felt like I have been tricked into supporting the status quo world of media and global games manipulated by corporations and media. What about you?



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