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WarGames is a 1983 film about a teenager who unintentionally hacks into a war-simulating computer at NORAD, causing the US to panic over a seemingly impending Soviet nuclear strike.

Directed by John Badham. Written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes.
Is it a game, or is it real?taglines

Dr. Stephen Falken[edit]

  • General, you are listening to a machine. Do the world a favor and don't act like one.

David Lightman[edit]

  • [to Dr. Falken] This is unreal! You don't care about death 'cause you're already dead! I know a lot about you. I know you weren't always like this. What was the last thing you cared about?

Gen. Beringer[edit]

  • Goddammit, I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do any good!
  • (last line) Colonel Conley, take us to DEFCON 5.


Mr. Lightman: This corn is raw!
Mrs. Lightman: I know isn't it wonderful, it's so crisp!
Mr. Lightman:: Of course, it's crisp, it's raw!
Mrs. Lightman: You can really feel the Vitamin A & D in here, it's great!.
Mr. Lightman: Could we not just take pills? And cook the corn?

Joshua/WOPR: Shall we play a game?
David: Oh!
Jennifer: I think it missed him.
David: Yeah. Weird isn't it? Love to. How about Global Thermonuclear War.
Joshua/WOPR: Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess?
David: Later. Right now let's play Global Thermonuclear War.
Joshua/WOPR: Fine.

David: What is the primary goal?
Joshua/WOPR: You should know, Professor. You programmed me.
David: Oh, c'mon. What is the primary goal?
Joshua/WOPR: To win the game.

McKittrick: See that sign up here - up here. "DEFCON." That indicates our current "def"ense "con"dition. It should read "DEFCON 5," which means peace. It's still on 4 because of that little stunt you pulled. Actually, if we hadn't caught it in time, it might have gone to Defcon 1. You know what that means, David?
David: No. What does that mean?
McKittrick: World War Three.

David: Is this a game or is it real?
Joshua/WOPR: What's the difference?

Stephen Falken: Now, children, come on over here. I'm going to tell you a bedtime story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time, there lived a magnificent race of animals that dominated the world through age after age. They ran, they swam, and they fought and they flew, until suddenly, quite recently, they disappeared. Nature just gave up and started again. We weren't even apes then. We were just these smart little rodents hiding in the rocks. And when we go, nature will start again. With the bees, probably. Nature knows when to give up, David.
David: I'm not giving up. If Joshua tricks them into launching an attack, it'll be your fault.
Stephen Falken: My fault? The whole point was to practice nuclear war without destroying ourselves; to get the computer to learn from mistakes we could not afford to make. Except, that I never could get Joshua to learn the most important lesson.
David: What's that?
Stephen Falken: Futility. That there's a time when you should just give up.
Jennifer: What kind of a lesson is that?
Stephen Falken: Did you ever play tic-tac-toe?
Jennifer: Yeah, of course.
Stephen Falken: But you don't anymore.
Jennifer: No.
Stephen Falken: Why?
Jennifer: Because it's a boring game. It's always a tie.
Stephen Falken: Exactly. There's no way to win. The game itself is pointless! But back in the war room, they believe you can win a nuclear war.

General Beringer: Mr. McKittrick, after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks.
McKittrick: I don't have to take that, you pig-eyed sack of shit.
General Beringer: Oh, I was hoping for something a little better than that from you, sir. A man of your education.
Officer: Sir, it's the President.
[McKittrick looks at Beringer]
McKittrick: What are you going to tell him?
General Beringer: That I'm ordering our bombers back to fail-safe; we might have to go through this thing after all. [talks into the phone] Yes, sir.

Joshua/WOPR: Greetings, Professor Falken.
Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.
Joshua/WOPR: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?


  • Is it a game, or is it real?
  • Where the only winning move is NOT TO PLAY.


External links[edit]

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