Still on the topic of games, my Digital Humanities class was required to read a book called Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. In this post I will give my thoughts and responses to the book as well as the movie. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!
I was immediately hooked on Ender’s Game and read through until the middle, where I decided one boring afternoon to watch the movie. I don’t know why I decided to spoil the book’s ending for myself, but for me, it was really hard to visualize Battle School and the Battle Room along with Eros. Watching the movie in the middle helped me read the rest of the book. Also, I thought the movie was really well done. It followed true to the book (although reviews on IMDb say otherwise?) Harrison Ford played the part of Colonel Graff really well and Asa Butterfield was an amazing Ender Wiggin. The effects weren’t cheesy, they were actually pretty cool.
I think the concept of sending kids away to Battle School for their entire lives is horrible. On the other hand, when I watched this with my friend he said he’d totally love to live and train at Battle School. I can see the appeal to some people and the ridiculousness of the concept to others. Overall the whole theme of this book/movie gave me a Halo-vibe.
While I won’t go into too much detail of the ending, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised. Especially when we find out that Mazer Rackham never actually died in the battle of the Second Invasion and is now going to train one-on-one with Ender. Throughout the book I felt really sorry for Ender, particularly because he was always bullied or picked on and really confided in his sister, who was then brainwashed by Peter and used by Graff multiple times to convince Ender to do whatever necessary to continue his training. At least they end up back together in the end, even if it’s under horrible circumstances.
My favorite part (and probably creepiest) is that Graff and Anderson use the giant’s drink game on Ender’s desk at school to study his psychological state. And while it is interesting, it also gives us insight on Ender’s true thoughts and feelings. I’d probably play the game too, if I was bored out of my mind from training all day. But the game also has a lot of symbolism, mainly that Ender will figure out any way possible to survive, even by breaking the rules. We then see the format of the mind game again at the end of the book, but this time it’s real and holds in it something very special.