Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
CachedDecoding the Internet in Global Popular Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephanie Ricker Schulte

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708668

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708668.001.0001

Show Summary Details

The “WarGames Scenario”

The “WarGames Scenario”

Regulating Teenagers and Teenaged Technology

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 The “WarGames Scenario”
Source:
Cached
Author(s):

Stephanie Ricker Schulte

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814708668.003.0002

This chapter explores how the film WarGames (1983)—the first mass-consumed, visual representation of the Internet—served as both a vehicle and a framework for America's earliest discussion of the Internet. WarGames presented the Internet simultaneously as a high-tech toy for teenagers and as a potential weapon for global destruction. News media focused on the potential realities of the “WarGames Scenario,” and in response, the U.S. Congress held computer security hearings, screened WarGames on the Senate floor, and produced the first Internet-regulating legislation. The chapter illustrates how WarGames engaged a “teenaged technology” discourse, which cast both Internet technology and its users as rebellious teenagers in need of parental control. The discourse allowed policymakers to equate government Internet regulation with parental guidance rather than with suppression of democracy and innovation—a crucial distinction in the context of the Cold War and especially in 1984, when George Orwell's 1984 (1949) reappeared as a news media focus.

Keywords:   WarGames, Internet, teenagers, global destruction, WarGames Scenario, U.S. Congress, Internet-regulating legislation, Cold War, 1984

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.