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The Only Winning Move

I just watched WarGames with my kids for probably the first time since I saw it back when I was a teenager in the early 80s. I distinctly remember watching it over and over again at our local cinema in my hometown.

While I had to explain some of the Cold War references in the film the three of us were amazed at how well the film stood up 24 years later. The message is still timely.

Emma wasn't mortally offended by the fashions, though she thought the computers in the war room looked more like washing machines. Simon guffawed at the floppy disks but he was excited to see someone actually playing the arcade version of Galaga in the same way a car enthusiast gets giddy over seeing Model T Ford in working condition.


Timely message, indeed... And speaking of outdated technology, did you point out the modem they used to connect to the superdupercomputer? You know, the ancient put-the-gimongous-antique-wired-landline-phone-handset-on-the-platform type modem? Which moved data at roughly the speed of your Great Aunt Mable on a bad day? That was cutting edge technology back then, and I remember it so clearly because that was the first time I'd ever seen a modem!! Ah, memories...

A friend took me to see that movie when it came out in '83. That was the summer my dad was ill, and it was a welcome distraction for a few hours. I remem.ber especially liking the soundtrack for some reason. As far as computers go, I was something of a Luddite, and didn't ever see myself using one on any regular basis! And as for those arcade games, there is so much nostalgia for them, you can buy them from places like Brookstone. Brett actually bought a Ms PacMan/Galaga combo on EBay (cheaper than Brookstone) 4 yrs ago, so we have a machine in the basement that Simon can come and play anytime he likes. That Galaga game is part of our dating lore. On our first high school date, we went to see Return of the Jedi (on one of its rerun tours, I thnk), and then we walked around the mall. Brett and I played Galaga in the arcade there, and since I am crappy at video games, my turn ended quickly. Brett, on the other hand, was very good at them, so I had to stand there for what seemed interminable hours, making admiring noises (as befitted a 1980's girlfriend) as he reached level ten million or whatever. It was probably one of the things that ensured our relationship did not make it into college--which in turn, probably ensured it would continue later. So thanks, Galaga. :)

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