Just A Very Quick Thought About Wargames

I was watching Wargames tonight, as one does, and a quick thought occurred to me.

You know that moment when Matthew Broderick asks the computer for a list of the “games” it has available, and they appear on screen?

And he’s all like,

But then as the rest of this list appears his face suddenly falls into fear?

I’m not sure that scene works so well any more:

…Yup, those are some games.


  1. Squishpoke says:

    Would you like to play a game?

  2. LionsPhil says:

    He’s sad, because the list has finished printing out, but doesn’t contain Half-Life 3.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    Falken’s Maze doesn’t actually exist as a real game (Falken is a plot character in the film)… kinda interesting to see people’s attempts to (re)make the game anyway.

  4. AmateurScience says:

    No FTL. Denied!

  5. Cyampagn says:

    Damn, he was hawt.

    • Cross says:

      I do believe there was a ventilator in that scene.

    • Mrs Columbo says:

      Never trust a man who can’t grow a beard. Women…less so.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        My beardless face is sad.
        Actually, thinking about it, I’m not really that trustworthy. Carry on!

  6. Cooper says:

    Somone now needs to make a WOPR front-end lanucher for a game in each of those categories…

    • Gap Gen says:

      It can be difficult to read that text, though, so it needs to be a big WOPR interface.

  7. nasenbluten says:

    Mainstream, I would have played checkers instead.

    This reminded me of Threads (1984), what a brilliant movie.

    • sinister agent says:

      Warning to tragedy fans: Do not watch Threads. Nothing you watch after watching Threads will ever seem tragic again.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Except for Grave of the Fireflies.

        • DrGonzo says:

          If it hadn’t been anime, and had decent acting I think that film may have upset me somewhat. But as it was it was quite funny in places unintentionally.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            It does need to be watched in Japanese I think, didn’t think English was terrible, but Japanese is way better. Serious anime isn’t for everyone I know, shame really, it’s no less absurd than actors make believing in front of mics, lenses and lights.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        Damn, man, why’d you even mention Threads?

        Now I’m going to be depressed for the rest of the day and have nightmares tonight.

      • Phantoon says:

        Well, compared to Threads, nothing IS tragic.

    • baby snot says:

      Thankyou! Needed something to watch. Australia’s reply.

    • John Walker says:

      Another reason to not watch Threads is so you don’t feel utterly depressed for about a week afterward. But oh my goodness, it’s amazing.

      • Mrs Columbo says:

        Yeah. A nuclear bomb dropped on Sheffield.


        • leeder krenon says:

          Can you tell the difference?

          • Morlock says:


            Anyway, as a German who lived in Sheffield for a few years, half of the film was hilarious for me and all about the dialect. The other half was :-(

      • Bimble says:

        Threads was terrifying! Feels like home too, there’s something very normal about it all which makes it all the more twisted.

        Anyhoo! Bueller?

        • Mrs Columbo says:


          • flashgordon says:

            Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Dark Helmet: Before you die there is something you should know about us, Lone Star.
            Lone Starr: What?
            Dark Helmet: I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.
            Lone Starr: What’s that make us?
            Dark Helmet: Absolutely nothing

    • Gap Gen says:

      There’s also The War Game, if you want something from before they invented colour and plurals: link to en.wikipedia.org (you can find it online easily enough). Utterly harrowing. The worst part is that it’s based on real-life events in WWII, including the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo.

      • nasenbluten says:

        Very interesting, I will check it out. Thanks!

      • felisc says:

        Well if you are mentionning watkins, i might as well point out that his whole filmography is worth watching. His movie about Munch is brilliant.

    • VFRHawk says:

      The american version (The Day After) isn’t too terrible either, though nowhere near as harrowing…

    • Schmudley says:

      Another great/depressing option is ‘When the Wind Blows.’

      • Harlander says:


      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        When the Wind Blows blows. Its relentlessly depressing to the point of being hammy.


        And I mean, who HADN’T heard of nuclear fallout and radiation when that was made? They’ve been banging (pardon the pun) on about it since the 50’s. No one thinks nukes are like the bombs dropped in WWII, so my guess is they both have to be utterly senile.

        Nothing personal to anyone, I just hate the way that cartoon tries so hard and obviously to manipulate me into feeling bad.

        • thekeats1999 says:

          Have a read of this

          link to legacy.wilsoncenter.org

          This was published in 1980, two years before Raymond Briggs wrote When the Wind Blows. The very first line was the sort of information being given out by the then British Government.

          The old couple where based on his parents and the story was supposedly based around there own confusion these sort of leaflets given out. The problem was there was an awful lot of misinformation given out at the time. For those who don’t want to look at the leaflet, the then Home Secretary had this too say:-

          “Most houses in this country offer a reasonable degree of protection against radioactive fallout from nuclear explosions and protection can be substantially improved by a series of quite simple do-it-yourself measures”

          So while yes the scientific community new full well the effects of nuclear fallout our own government where feading the general public half truths and misinformation.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          I read it. Now I’m depressed.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        If that’s the movie about the old couple trying to survive after nuclear weapons have been deployed, that’s some seriously depressing cinema.

        Good though but make sure you have a bunch of pictures of babies and/or kittens or something to look at afterwards.

        • Phantoon says:

          I don’t like babies so I’m gonna have to double down on kittens.

    • Vorrin says:

      man, Threads, what a genius movie to namedrop. My 2 cents are:

      “if you haven’t seen it, run see it, it’s really great, in a sad but important way”

      When I thought about cold war after seeing that, I nearly started to cry in posthumous fear

    • Velko says:

      Threads is magnificent. One of the best/worst parts is the ending. When you’ve seen all the death and destruction, humane suffering, end of civilisation as we know it, people dying in hunger… and then slowly, the society starts to build itself up from the ashes. There’s a tiny glimmer of hope, even, amidst the starvation and the proto-fascist regime. And then BAM, the childbirth… Maybe the most depressing ending to a movie ever. Threads just doesn’t let you go.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Thanks. I hadn’t seen it yet… now I don’t have to.

        • sinister agent says:

          It was his sled. There, saved you another one.

        • zidders says:

          Well it should be obvious that a film about nuclear war is only going to have either a sort of dark outcome or a really dark one. No amount of spoilering will ruin that film because it’s so incredibly emotional when you actually watch it.

  8. GIGAR says:

    Is there any games about chemical warfare?
    We got Defcon for nuclear and Pandemic for biological (just two examples), but…?

    • Gap Gen says:

      C&C Generals? Not really a simulation, per se.

    • MacTheGeek says:

      If Paradox ever makes a World War I strategy game, chemical warfare will be a significant part of it.

      • PleasingFungus says:

        Chemical warfare is a very major part of Victoria (II), which extends through the WW1 period.

        • Gammro says:

          There’s chemical warfare in Vicky2? I didn’t see that anywhere. I guessed it was just as controversial as genocide in other titles and the holocaust in specific in HoI3.

          • Cuddlefish says:

            Specifically, there’s a gas warfare tech/invention that applies combat modifiers to your armies once you have it, and a similar invention for defensive measures. Beyond that, no in-depth treatment of the subject. Similar to the way they handle ‘strategic bombardment’ in the Hearts of Iron games in that respect.

    • El Mariachi says:

      Rogue Trooper. Probably most WW1 strategy games.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Don’t forget link to archive.org

    • -Spooky- says:

      Jup, World in Conflict. Chemo vs Inf. is very, very effective.

  9. Crazy Horse says:

    I’m certain Matthew still makes that face every time he passes a Gamestop.

  10. MadTinkerer says:

    Don’t let him try DEFCON, he’ll have a heart attack.

    • Heavenfall says:

      The only winning move is to murder as much as you can before they murder you and yours.

  11. Stupoider says:

    Whoops, looks like your Tumblr post ended up on RPS.

    • CannedLizard says:

      Now, now. No need to be a smarmy SOB,

    • John Walker says:

      I’ve given it some consideration, that you felt driven to leave this comment, and in the end I think I mostly just feel sorry for you.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Yep. It’s like TV is not allowed on radio or something? Now a page in one paper/site/mind is not allowed on another?

        Nope, I think it’s totally valid to post things in more than one place. Or is the comment referring to the writing style? Images used well are very educational and entertaining. I find this article does both. :D

        • Stupoider says:

          There’s a level of journalism I’ve come to expect of RPS, and it doesn’t involve posting pictures like this is a blog. That “Buzzfeed” level of journalism is entirely deplorable.

          I’m not knocking the angle the article was going for. It would’ve made a decent enough article, if it hadn’t been approached with the attention of a Tumblrite aiming for cheap emotional engagement.

          It’s not a matter of “no fun allowed”, it’s trying to uphold RPS’s integrity (which has fallen into disrepair as of late, no thanks to some articles baiting for hits akin to Kotaku journalism [and no, this isn’t about feminism, but about the ‘video game violence’ article]).

          • sinister agent says:

            RPS is a blog.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            The old “It’s a blog” excuse really gets a bit tired. How exactly is most of the site’s content not journalism at the same time?

            It can be a blog, and journalism. Of course, what it is doesn’t determine the quality of the content, any more than than printed newspapers aren’t allowed to print celebrity nudity.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            If RPS really is just a blog, then I guess I have been all but wasting my time visiting it, thinking it means business.

            I wouldn’t welcome the latest gossip about Justin Bieber’s private life in The Economist and I don’t expect Tumblr-like posts on RPS. That comparison is rather extreme, but my point stands.

            Call me a douche, heck, maybe I am being a douche, but I expect more from RPS.

          • Muzman says:

            Yes, but a Glorified blog

          • MOKKA says:

            Xardas, I expected more from you.

          • Herkimer says:

            I’m sure the owners of RPS will thank you very kindly for trying to uphold the site’s integrity.

            What’s that you say? One of the owners just posted the piece you’re complaining about?

            Well now, that is a pickle.

          • Toberoth says:

            It’s integrity has fallen into disrepair? Says who?

          • Stupoider says:

            Says me. I’m not an authority, I’m just voicing my opinion. Ultimately you’d be hard pressed finding an authority on any matter.

            Comments sections on those “hard-hitting” articles have also identified many of RPS’s recent weaknesses.

          • Toberoth says:

            Indeed you would.

          • PopeRatzo says:

            You’re still digging. Please stop.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Integrity is more about its committment to honest journalism, no? This is just a comment piece, it doesn’t claim to state any facts.

            Also, note that The Economist does occasionally comment on celebrity pieces, in between repeatedly stating that everyone should liberalise their economies every other line.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Xardas, I expected more from you.

            Christ, why? He spents half his time around here whining that RPS is not the serious site he wants it to be, and the other half whining that RPS’ readers are not smart enough for him.

          • Malibu Stacey says:

            Call me a douche, heck, maybe I am being a douche, but I expect more from RPS.

            You’re a ‘douche’. Now fuck off somewhere else & leave those of us who appreciate RPS the way it is to enjoy it.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            I’d love to see all you guys actually say any of this stuff to each others faces. On the internet we’re all crusaders. In person, it would be all polite, “pass the salt” and uncomfortable long silences punctuated by cutlery noise.

          • jhng says:

            Huff puff! Huff puff! ‘reader entitlement’ etc etc

            I guess its a kind of compliment to RPS that several regular commenters have such investment that they are under the mistaken impression that they should have editorial input into the site.

            It’s John’s site — it he wants to post, let him post. No one forces you to read it! Challenge him, by all means, but you can’t legitimately say it doesn’t belong on the site. If he wants to post it then by definition it belongs on the site.

          • Oak says:

            I thought the RPS shareholders’ meeting was next month.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Why yes, petty ad hominem, you sure showed me! Arguments are over-rated! And you specifically always surprise me with your passive aggression, Phil, bashing anyone with who doesn’t share your opinion, even when he backs it up with an actual argumentation (talking about another article here, just a heads-up). You sure showed me.

            I never said RPS is supposed to be all high brow and no fun. I’ve participated in the pun threads, I’ve done my fare share of Warface jokes, heck, I’ve bookmarked that article about Crysis 2 and it’s graphics: link to rockpapershotgun.com because it’s fucking brilliant. I just thought the point he brought up in this post could’ve made for a fine piece and not a Tumblr-like thingy.

            And yes, John has absolutely every right to post anything he ever wants on this site and I am in no position to say otherwise. But I can have an opinion as well, can’t I? Or are you denying me that?

            PS: Integrity? Since when does RPS have any problems with their integrity, that’s news to me… Their integrity looks as rock-solid as it’s ever been.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Jesus christ you lot are disappearing so far up your own arses these days that you can inspect your own fillings.

            We get it. You’re all clever, accomplished, professional, erudite and esteemed in your respective fields. Your cerebral sexiness is so far off the chart that your own hippocampus wants to have intercourse with itself. RPS is now a hot bed of academic discussion par excellence and the perfect canvas on which to spunk out your mercurial cortex emissions.

            Now can we please stop the mind-willy waving, drop the latin argumentation terminology, and go back to enjoying the silly bit of fun that this post was meant to represent in the first place?

            Here, have a word-based nob gag:
            Q: What did the O say to the Q?
            A: “Dude, your dick’s hanging out.”

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      Watch out everyone, it’s the fun police.

  12. MacTheGeek says:

    WarGames is best viewed with the subwoofer volume cranked up to 11.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I’ve got one that goes up to 11.5. Would that be too much?

      • Gap Gen says:

        Turn the sound down. The only way to listen to the War Games soundtrack is not to play it.

  13. Asyne says:


    Oh yeah – some Street Fighter, or MvC2, or Primal R-

    Fighter Combat

    I’d be disappointed too.

  14. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    So how many of these can be sequels to Wargame: European Escalation?

    • Shepardus says:

      At least one already is (or will be when it’s released).

  15. otyugh says:

    But they’re smiling here in this promotional shot for the Atari game based on the movie:
    link to farm4.static.flickr.com

  16. Dervish says:

    But he doesn’t want to play chess; he tries to play global thermonuclear war and is excited when he gets the computer to allow him to play it.

  17. Memphis-Ahn says:

    Huh, that’s more games than the PS3.

  18. Real Horrorshow says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to say that not nearly enough people know about Wargame: European Escalation.

    • lurkalisk says:

      I was a little [irrationally] disappointed this article wasn’t in some way about it. Also disappointed about the lack of things power glove have done with themselves (gravatar).

    • BooleanBob says:

      I think most people probably have read at least something about it, but the blandness of the name just begs your mind to buff it straight out of existence.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Also, StarForce DRM with a limit of five activations.

        • RedViv says:

          Eww. People still use that? Outside of Russia?

        • EPICTHEFAIL says:

          God, I almost had a heart attack when I read that. Origin and UPlay might sound bad today, but they`re small fry compared to that abomination.

        • Real Horrorshow says:

          What the hell are you talking about? It just uses Steamworks. Get your facts straight before slandering a game like that.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Take it up with flibitijibibo.

            And try to be less of a jackass.

          • Real Horrorshow says:

            Your facts were, in fact, not straight. How is it being a jackass to point that out?

            It had (past tense) some form of DRM but it was removed very shortly after release.

            I repeat: get your facts straight before you slander a game. Be less of an uninformed dolt.

          • LionsPhil says:

            My position is supported by at least a vaguely reputable source. Yours isn’t; you just say “fact” a lot and act like a complete twat.

            Welcome to the blocklist.

          • lurkalisk says:

            I must say, phil, you did seem to kinda fly off the handle there, though that may just be my poor interpretation of tone. Regardless of the accuracy of statements made (though, IIRC, RH is right), I don’t understand how Real Horrorshow was being a jackass. Maybe it’s just me…

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Thanks for proving my point about you, Phil.

            Oh, and I actually have a copy of the game, got it some 5 months ago. Doesn’t have any form of limited installations, I can tell you that for a bloody fact. And here are more people confirming it, courtesy of Google: link to steamcommunity.com

  19. The Dark One says:

    Oh, so now you won’t work in a Player of Games reference!?!

  20. Dana says:

    I’m pretty sure they were all c64 games.

  21. jimangi says:


    What have I become!?

  22. -Spooky- says:

    *mhm* No DefCon on the list, what a shame. Same effect after we hit the button. ;)

    link to introversion.co.uk

  23. SuperNashwanPower says:

    What is the game in the last picture?

  24. Tei says:

    Wargames is also probably the last (only?) movie that show a cracker cracking stuff in a realistic way (sort of). After it, Hollywood decided to show crackers with 3D virtual reality googles fighting firewalls with virtual laser blades and virtual sandworms. Gandalf reciting a spell is a better aproximate of a cracker than what Hollywood shows.

    And don’t ask me about what hollywood think is a gamer.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      When I see the word Hollywood, I think of an erection garnished with seasonal decoration.

      • RedViv says:

        With bombastic explosions, rather than ejections, one would assume.

        • F3ck says:

          To be fair – we do try to offset the ostentatious with street whores, junkies, gangs and a general griminess.

    • Feferuco says:

      From the Hollywood dictionary

      gam·er (gmr)
      One who excitedly holds a controller mashing every button and smiling constantly, often alongside a friend while playing a single player game together.

      • Muzman says:

        Playing Doom or some rail shooter, because those are the only games there are.

      • Hematite says:


        In the first Charlie’s Angels movie, in the scene when Dylan approaches a house for clothes, there are two kids inside vigorously button mashing and moving while playing Final Fantasy VIII. Infamously for fans, both kids hold controllers despite the fact the game has no two-player mode, and there are no sequences in which such button mashing would be required (except maybe for when using the boost mode for summons).


    • LionsPhil says:

      The second Matrix film (that didn’t exist) showed, if you listen to Slashdot, a genuine known OpenSSH exploit being used.

    • Squishpoke says:

      What do they call a cracker over there in the UK?

  25. Heliocentric says:

    All those monitors, and defcon is still a terrible game. :P

    • Phantoon says:

      Hey, I liked it. But then, it was tanks versus robots.

      Never could get anyone else to play with me.

  26. DiamondDog says:

    Love games?

  27. Radiant says:

    What a strange article.

    The only winning move is not to play.

    How about a nice one about chess?

  28. Stranglove says:

    I still remember playing Defcon with some other readers. One chap got 0 kills.

    • Squishpoke says:

      Sometimes I see a guy called Ghandi playing DEFCON in Diplomacy mode. He’ll go through the entire game without placing any silos or boats and try to get everyone to disarm their nukes.

      So far, he has not succeeded.

  29. DrScuttles says:

    That last image is from The Road isn’t it? That was a cheery film of unmitigated joy. The novel even more so.
    I wondered what a game based on The Road would be like, but then The Walking Dead filled that void completely.

  30. Lemming says:


    What was the game featured in ‘D.A.R.Y.L.’?

    What was the game featured in ‘Big’?

    What was the game featured in ‘The Last Star Fighter’?

    List all the games featured in ‘The Wizard’.

    • DiamondDog says:

      What was the game featured in ‘Big’?

      Oh I know that one. It was a giant piano.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      If only we had some form of computerised repository of information that we could consult to look up such teasers

    • EssBen says:

      “What was the game featured in ‘D.A.R.Y.L.’?

      What was the game featured in ‘Big’?

      What was the game featured in ‘The Last Star Fighter’?

      List all the games featured in ‘The Wizard’.”

      Never seen The Wizard (it looked as shitty and gimmicky as the Power Glove it was selling), but I’m pretty sure the rest are just movie magic special effects and mock ups :)

  31. Ricc says:

    Games are a bit messed up these days. No way around it.

  32. man-eater chimp says:

    1.04am, a proper time for RPS posts. Enough of this on the hour nonsense.

  33. Jimbo says:

    Wouldn’t you prefer a nice game of DESERT WARFACE?

  34. Valerius Maximus says:

    Don’t you have a personal blog for this kind of shit?
    Why would you even post that here? I swear you only bring the quality of this site down John.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      I liked the post, John. Good job.

      The thing I like about RPS is that it IS a personal blog, with a handful of people all writing in a personal way.

      If I wanted tips and hints and cheats and game reviews that are transcriptions of P.R. material, I’ll go to IGM or PCGamer or something. Here, I like to read people, with faces and identities.

    • Lemming says:

      this is not the gaming blog you are looking for *waves hand*.

    • wu wei says:

      Why would you respond to an article you clearly have no interest in? I swear it’s commenters like you that are bringing the quality of this site down.

      • Valerius Maximus says:

        Yeah man, pointing out a bad article won’t help to improve the site at all.
        John needs to learn that this site isn’t for his terrible opinions on whatever comes into his head at the time, it’s for his terrible opinions on indie and adventure games.
        Shit eaters like you only help to inflate his ego and encourage him to post wothless shit.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Valerius, you are an utter utter goit. Utterly.

  35. thecat17 says:

    War never changes.

  36. cuiagaha says:

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  37. impeus says:

    I knew I recognised Simon Roth from somewhere! Especially in his first Kickstarter pitch video.

  38. Runs With Foxes says:

    Has RPS given any thought to how they can reconcile this new-found fear of violence with their praise of innumerable violent games in the past, including their most recent game of the year? Just wonderin

    • Phantoon says:

      I think this isn’t a kneejerk reaction like the one a couple weeks ago.

  39. Strife212 says:

    To be fair a game called THEATREWIDE BIOTOXIC AND CHEMICAL WARFARE would still raise some eyebrows.

  40. b1239341 says:

    When I thought about cold war after seeing that, I nearly started to cry in posthumous fear


  41. EssBen says:

    THEATREWIDE BIOTOXIC AND CHEMICAL WARFARE……with no expansion pack!?!! Disgusting!