New HBO Series Westworld Addresses the Culture Around Violent Video Games

Westworld HBO series

At the heart of the show’s premise, is a question: ‘At what point are we responsible for, or influenced by, our actions in a setting with no consequences?’

The latest HBO hit series; Westworld is an interesting sci-fi piece that has themes such as video game critiques and views on human consciousness. If you watched the series premiere, you saw how Westworld is like an open world video game. Show creators Jonathan Nolan (brother of Christopher Nolan) and Lisa Joy have been thinking a lot about simulations and explore the logical extreme of our obsession with escapist fantasies.

So, what is Westworld All About?

As you may have watched, wealthy people pay around $40,000 a day to visit a Western theme park full of lifelike androids, and treat them however they please. That means murdering them on a whim or exploring revolting sexual violence. There is no limit to what they can do including sexual violence and murder, crazy right? Considering that these androids are lifelike and respond just as their human counterparts, the show is gory with violence and death.

Things start to get creepy as the robots in Westworld become aware of their situation. They start to hold on to past memories even though they are programmed to play along with their human counterpart’s lives and have their memories and wounds wiped daily. The guys controlling them have no idea that the robots can identify between human and AI.

For those of you who play video games, you already know how realistic the video game environment needs to be. Here, things are no different.

 “We’re no more sadistic than watching our friends playing Grand Theft Auto.” – Jonathan Nolan, show creator

Many video games that have been released over the past few years such as GTA revolve around player choices. I know you don’t follow the rules playing GTA, right? Well, in Westwood, the same applies; you can do whatever you want.

“If you can’t tell the difference, does it really matter?” – Season 1 Episode 2 of Westworld, AI in conversation with first time visitor to the park 

westworld- season 1

Westworld airs on HBO on Sundays – here are the next few episodes that are lined up;

Episode 2: Chestnut, airs on October 9, 2016. Here’s the official synopsis –

A pair of guests arrive at the theme park with different expectations; Bernard and Theresa Cullen debate about the recent host anomaly; a behavior engineer tweaks the emotions of a madam in Sweetwater’s brothel; a cocky programmer pitches a new narrative.

Episode 3: The Stray, airs on October 16, 2016. Here’s the official synopsis –

Elsie and Stubbs pursue a missing host; Teddy gets a new backstory, which sets him off in pursuit of a new villain; Bernard investigates the origins of madness within the hosts; William finds an attraction that he would like to pursue.
Other episodes –

Westworld Season 1 Episode 4: Dissonance Theory

Westworld Season 1 Episode 5: Contrapasso

Westworld Season 1 Episode 6: The Adversary

Westworld Season 1 Episode 7: Trompe L’Oeil

Westworld Season 1 Episode 8: Trace Decay

Westworld Season 1 Episode 9: The Well-Tempered Clavier

Image Credits- HBO

Here are 7 Westworld Theories That Will Blow Your Mind Away!