War and games

© Francois Lenoir

Drones, remote-controlled weapons, and robots – all of which can be controlled via a screen like a computer game – are the war tech of the future. This film visits laboratories, games designers, and guardians of morality to get a wider perspective.

Sophisticated new machines can spot the movement of every man and mouse on land, in water, and in the air. And they can kill. Automatically. Operating drones and remote-controlled weapons via a screen is like playing a computer game. What do game designers have in common with developers of unmanned war machines and drone pilots? How real are their visions of the future? Does this new technology provide us with reconnaissance information and security, as promised by the industry and governments, or are they paving the way for a state that has absolute control over its citizens? This film is about technical developments that will not only change the future of warfare, but also civilian life and our notions of ethics and morality. Will machines ultimately become the more decisive decision-makers? The film explores these issues in Israel, the USA, and Germany, and provides new perspectives on this challenging subject from documentary observations, unpublished film material, and protagonists who look at the subject from different angles.

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