Essay by zaneyCollege, UndergraduateB+, April 2006

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Produced by Canadian director David Cronenberg, the sci-fi fantasy flick, "EXistenZ" is one that, to the average movie watcher, certainly has a way of standing out. As he so often does, Cronenberg explores the idea of runaway technology - this time tackling the world of virtual reality gaming. By the end of the film, appearing to portray a paradox of reality, many audience members leave this movie with a 'what just happened?' feeling, but after a more analytical look, the film is a thought provoking parallel to other virtual reality science fiction movies, namely The Matrix.

The film opens with a live demonstration of a new virtual reality game from a new age gaming corporation called eXistenZ, the setting being a session hosted by the game's designer, the shy Allegra Geller. Unlike the video games of today, video games in eXistenZ are delivered directly into player's nervous system through state of the art game pods, bizarre contraptions of biotechnology with players not only seeing and hearing the virtual world around them, but feeling, smelling, and essentially living in this artificial world.

These game pods, according to what was said in the movie, deliver electrical impulses through one's umbilical chord into the player's 'bio port', a hole drilled into the base of the spine that acts as an interface or port into which the game is 'plugged into'.

The conflict in the film is a tension between what appear to be rival game companies that want the services of a famous game designer (Geller), or kill the game designer if they cannot gain cooperation, with a third party - essentially a millitant anti-gaming group - tries to subvert both from achieving their goals.

The story is built around the confusion between reality and virtual reality as the characters...