WarGames is a 1983 American thriller film written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes and directed by John Badham. The film stars Matthew Broderick (in his second major film role) and features Ally Sheedy, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, and Barry Corbin.
The film follows David Lightman (Broderick), a young hacker who unwittingly accesses WOPR, a United States military supercomputer programmed to predict possible outcomes of nuclear war. Lightman gets WOPR to run a nuclear war simulation, originally believing it to be a computer game. The simulation causes a national nuclear missile scare and nearly starts World War III.
The movie was a box office success, costing US$ million, but grossing over $70 million after five months in the United States. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards. A sequel, WarGames: The Dead Code, was released direct to DVD on July 29, 2008.
During a secret live fire exercise of a nuclear attack, many United States Air Force Strategic Missile Wing officers prove unwilling to turn a required key to launch a missile strike. Such refusals convince John McKittrick (Dabney Coleman) and other systems engineers at NORAD that command of missile silos must be maintained through automation, without human intervention. Control is given to a NORAD supercomputer, WOPR, programmed to continuously run military simulation and learn how to play better over time.
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