"Shall we play a game?
How about Global Thermal Nuclear War?" Starring
Matthew Broderick as young computer hacker Michael
Lightman, and Ally Sheedy as his would be girlfriend,
the science-fiction flick Wargames hit the scene in 1983.
The movie was a success with critics, and was the
highest grossing movies of 1983.
After it is learned
that human nuclear technicians were reluctant to pull
the trigger in times of need, the government decided to
automate the nuclear process by allowing NORAD to
program a computer, called the WOPR (Ware Operation Plan
Response), to take care of the nuclear duties.
While dialing various computers from his home while
trying to find a game, young hacker Michael Ligthman
stumbles across the WOPR, and decides to play one of the
games listed on the machine: Global Thermonuclear
After finding the
backdoor password, he starts to play, taking the side of
the USSR, not realizing that WOPR does not consider it
to be a simulation, nor does NORAD, who is preparing a
real counter-strike. In the nick of time, Lightman
manages to find the creator of the program running on
WOPR, called Joshua, and he manages to convince NORAD to
let the game play out, and to not launch any real nukes.
Joshua has other ideas, and attempts to launch the
missiles anyway. A way is found to teach Joshua a
lesson in futility by having the computer play itself in
a game of tic-tac-toe, and once Joshua realizes that all
the games end in stalemate, it quits the launch and
switches to a game of chess.