WarGames, for those of you too young to join the rest of us over here lying in our Barcaloungers and eating Werther’s Originals, is a 1983 techno-thriller about the dangers of confusing chess with thermonuclear war. It stars Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy, and as recently as last year, it seemed MGM was set to reboot it with an all-new cast and story for the 21st century, probably about how Snapchat will attain sentience and enslave us all to work on its moon farms or whatever. But now there’s a new plan on what to do with all those old floppy disks sitting around: Variety reports the company is set to turn the film into an “interactive video,” because interacting with a video screen happens in the movie, and MGM wants everyone to experience the fun of unleashing nuclear winter upon the world.
The interactive video will still feature brand-new characters and story lines, with the viewer determining the ending through their actions. It’s being described as a “modern take on the original, melding the interactive elements of a video game with the cinematic experience of a movie,” which is how most modern-day video games could already be described, but sure, okay, this is new and fresh, and more video than game, it seems.
Interestingly, there are no plans to make money off this video for the time being—instead, the studio is still experimenting with the technology, trying to see what options and opportunities will arise from exposing new generations to the film via this method. Presumably, the opportunities that arise will be for young people to unwittingly plunge the world into a tense nuclear showdown, much as happens in the movie. Audiences will be rewarded for repeat viewings via a series of different outcomes based on their actions—and, much as in the film itself, the smartest will realize, when invited to play MGM’s interactive video, that the only way to win is not to play.