New Clip: The Game of Ender’s Game *Spoilers*

*Spoilers* Why Ender's Game should be about the game not the explosions

Ender’s Game is one of my favorite books, and it is coming out in a movie adaptation on November 1st. Often when people write about Ender’s Game, they enjoy dissecting ways in which the author, Orson Scott Card, may or may not be homophobic, but honestly I couldn’t care less about that.

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I’d rather stick to the title than try to find hidden messages of injustice  in what is a brutally honest and heartbreaking empathetic book. My biggest fear about the movie is that it’ll contradict it’s title. Somehow they’ll do that Hollywood thing and try to make a story about a game into a story about a war. Ender was never fighting a war. He was playing a game.

The Game

Ender, the character, never wanted to be a soldier. He never wanted to fight. He just wanted to win. He was six years old and they gave him a game to play that just happened to be real. Every player of Counterstrike: Global Offensive can imagine Ender’s life. You pick up your mouse and you’re playing a game. There’s no consequences. You’re just shooting some peers because it feels good to see that “Double Kill” text pop up.

That was Ender. Then someone told him all his kills were real men on a real battlefield. He wasn’t a hero because heroism implies intent. Even when we feel like heroes in games, we’ve changed very little. 

What if…?

What if this wasn’t a book, though? What if everyone playing Counterstrike: Global Offensive actually was controlling a robot in some faraway country? We have the technology. We just need to decide if we prefer the war movie to the game. Hollywood assumes nobody would watch a movie about a gamer. They forget Jumanji and other movies that were successfully made about games, and assume all we want is explosions.

I like that it’s a game. I like thinking about the fact that this could happen. It could happen to you or me and we’d never know. We’d be killing without consent. We’d destroy a race, annihilate a home world, and kill millions just because we thought it was a game. That’s the beauty. We’d be min/maxing and number crunching strategies and teams until everything was gone. It’s a scary concept because we do it every day. You and I are fighting a war. It’s just not real… we think.

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GameSkinny intern, college student, and lifelong nerd.