Hollywood Can’t Get Computers Right

WOPR from War Games

Fudging a story is easy, but fudging how computers work in the age of computers is laughable. Yet, as the experts at Cracked point out, Hollywood does it all the time. Take NCISTwo people typing simultaneously on a keyboard? Are they kidding?

WOPR from War GamesI know, I know. No one wants to watch me dig into the registry to remove a file that launches on startup, even if I use four hands to do it. But please: If someone hacks my PC, they won’t create a graphical representation of what’s happening so I can take steps to stop it.

Blame it on the1983 movie War Games, when a supercomputer had to learn in real time that thermal nuclear war was really, really bad.

Here’s five things Cracked missed:

  • Actors passionately staring at computer screens with concern, fear, anger, awe, etc.
  • Google Earth shots that zoom in on bad guys with a flashing crosshairs over their heads.
  • Computer techs are always nerds. That ended 10 years ago. (Though I should say the resident nerd on NCIS is kind of hot.)
  • All that typing. Apple introduced the mouse with the Apple II.

Finally — Could someone drop their iPad in the street and scream a profanity? That would be realistic.

Comments

3 Responses to “Hollywood Can’t Get Computers Right”

April 26, 2011 at 11:26 am, Molly said:

Oh lord – there was an episode that showed the Wayback Machine website for an investigation (can’t remember which show). It was pictured on screen as a swirly numbered spinning cloud over the website they wanted an earlier version of. I cringed so hard, I flipped out of my chair.

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April 26, 2011 at 10:14 pm, Rob said:

The big one, my favorite, that I’ve seen in a bunch of films: shoot the monitor to destroy the computer!! Yeah!

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April 27, 2011 at 9:32 am, Roger Venable said:

More blinking lights without labels, please. Everybody knows that lots of blinking, flashing, multi-colored lights that have no meaning at all are necessary for correct computer operation.

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