Friday, January 02, 2009


I watched Westworld today. Westworld is a 1973 science fiction/thriller film written and directed by Michael Crichton (who unfortunately passed away about 8 weeks ago). It's about two businessmen who visit Delos, a themed amusement park of the future, where guests interact and live out their fantasies with androids who are virtually indistinguishable from humans. The fun soon ends for the two lead characters when a fault causes the androids to commence killing the guests. Yul Brynner stars as the (pre-Terminator-like) western gunslinger android who relentlessly hunts down one of the guests.

This was a film I hadn't seen since I was a teenager. I remember when I first saw Westworld how much of an impact it made on me. How I wished an amusement park like Delos actually existed. How cool would it be to visit RomanWorld, MedievalWorld, and of course WesternWorld, for what would essentially be a live roleplaying experience.

How exciting it would be to be involved in realistic gunfights where you were in no danger of getting hurt. And of course, the androids, especially the gorgeous female androids, were programmed to respond positively to all guest requests.

The closest my teenage mind came to imagining myself adventuring in the Old West was playing the roleplaying game Boot Hill in the early '80s. And that was still a heap of fun.

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