Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Portfolio: Essay #1

Shaunt Sulahian
May 16, 2012
English 114B
Professor Dinsmore
                                              The Prison System in “Gamer”

In “Gamer”, the film follows a corrupt individual changing and revolutionizing the way society looks at video gaming. Castle, an extremely wealthy madman enjoys his riches while bringing down society and individuals making them into his mindless puppets. To explore “Gamer’s” society, we have to first take into consideration society’s involvement in their virtual worlds. Individuals are immersed in their second lives as society changes drastically into somewhat of a dystopia. Humanz is an organization created to stop these changes, and their legacy lives on with the help of the main character Kable.  Death row inmates in the film have an option of literally living in a virtual world and being controlled by people around the planet in a gruesome death match called Slayers. This is a worldwide phenomenon and is considered to be morally correct with the people of Earth. Kable is a part of this game as he is forced and tricked by Castle into becoming a prisoner that is watched by millions. Society and the prison system are obviously corrupt in this world. Although these seem to be gruesome and disturbing points, the issue of having death row inmates participate in these games is disputable regarding its matters on morality.
Prisoners who are death row inmates are the worst of the worst. They are on the line for Capital Punishment, or in other words the Death Penalty for acts which include murder, rape, and other forbidding adultery. I would like to look more into this disputable question as I feel as if “Gamer”, acts as a commentary and tries to warn its viewers. The film tries to caution its viewers of not just how we treat our prisoners today, but what will become of society in America if we do not take a different approach to how we go about using our technology in such ways where it is not abused. It also shows the viewers on what could happen if people take the word of manipulative individuals and use their teachings as the way of the world. I am in favor in regards to Capital Punishment because of the fact that there are just some sociopathic and mentally corrupted individuals that should not walk amongst the Earth with other human beings. Having said this, I would like to add another point regarding death row inmates being a part of “Slayer”. It is true that inmates on death row have nothing to live for in terms of the heinous crimes they have committed, but having them controlled like puppets by society is not only disgusting but it shows that society quickly gives in to inclinations made by certain “powerful” figures. Society is disregarding the fact if it is appropriate or fitting for human beings to experience and be a part of such brutality.
Humans have a difficulty thinking independently. I say this with no sources but with knowledge of historical events. If one takes WWII into consideration, and thinks about the motives of Adolf Hitler, what made Germany justify his actions? It is true that individuals living in Nazi Germany did not have a say regarding whom they could elect for office, but it is absurd on all levels when people get attached to these inclinations and start believing the word of these so called “powerful” figures. Although this film is more focused on America, and its prison system, "Gamer" warns its viewers not too get caught up in such irrationality and to think logically. While thinking logically, one cannot justify the actions of Castle in this film. When one disagrees with why prisoners should not be given the option to be controlled in this game, or to play this game in general, they should take obvious factors of corruption in society into consideration. When individuals are exposed to such violence in their lives, it is accepted as normality in their minds to perceive violence in everyday life. There is a reason why movies and video games have a rating system, but considering the extreme brutal aspect, even “Slayer” won’t be fit with a rating system. If this game was to be accepted in our society, corruption would flood the United States of America. Most violent crimes would be accepted into our everyday lives and society would have an extreme reaction to this game. It disgusts me to say that people would indeed play this game if it was accepted in our society. This is why technology should not be abused early on in our lifetimes, to avoid these “controversial” decisions on if it is morally lawful to have a game like “Slayer” accepted into our society.
                Watching death occur in a live telecast or a television is wrong at all costs. This would be a devastating act and murder would be more common in our society. Horror would overcome this world and the beauty and innocence would perish. We as humans need to be vigilant and wise in our choices and take precautions to all new technological developments. This is basically the same as thinking before an individual speaks accept that the world advances quickly, so we need to think twice as much before we act. America has enough issues, and violence should definitely not become the leading factor of the problems that surround our society. In my eyes, this film taps into a fear of social decline, and individuals dehumanizing each other. While this film serves as great entertainment, the thought of this unfolding into a reality is haunting. This film is indeed a social commentary and we should make aware of its signs. “Gamer” does an excellent job of painting these haunting images in your mind. The viewers are put in a sense of fear and apprehension after watching this film, and some individuals like me, try to justify the actions of the characters in this film by overthinking the scenarios in my mind. Therefore, I enjoy writing about this topic just because of the fact that I would like to urge individuals to think logically and not too get caught up in the trends and inclinations of society. If something like this ever occurs in our world, we should have the decency and power to be able to put an end to it. Unity is a powerful force that should not be ignored especially during difficult times. Gamer as a piece of fiction does include elements of satire. For example, naming the main character Kable while he is watched by millions as he plays through “Slayer” pokes fun at society as this is one of the few signs Gamer utilizes to send a message to its audience.
Conclusively, this film shows its audience what could happen to our society if we indulge ourselves into a corrupt technological world with no morals. It’s an excellent wake up call for not only heavy gamers but society itself. I would recommend it to viewers of all ages to watch this film and pay close attention to what type of message “Gamer” is trying to convey.

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