After completing the course content for our DCI seminar, I think the addition of the movie “Nerve” would further enhance the themes we have learned about in class.
Set in modern-day times, the movie Nerve is about an internet game that gives players extreme dares. If you choose to enter the game and carry out these dares, you can win money. The other way to participate in the game is to be an anonymous “watcher.” These watchers are the ones who come up with and submit these dares while viewing the participants completing them. When the timid high school senior, Vee Delmonico makes the rogue choice and enters the game as a player. She is tasked with wild dares and truly begins to live her life with more adventure than beforehand. Things quickly accelerate and the dares start to pick up and become more and more dangerous. As she continues to perform these crazy dares, she gains a lot of attention. Then, when things couldn’t seem to get worse, the game takes over her life and the only way for her to get her identity back is to win the game. She must complete every dare left until she is the last player standing.
In the final scene, Vee is dared to shoot her partner that she has been completing the dares with. When she refuses, another player, Ty, steps in and says that he will perform the dare, but shoot Vee instead. The game lets the watchers choose yes or no if Ty should follow through with this plan. Millions of people vote for him to shoot Vee. He fires the shot and Vee drops to the ground. Luckily, many of Vee’s friends are working behind the scenes and this is apart of a grander plan. Her friends release a notice to all the watchers who voted, regardless of a yes or a no, that reveals their names and that they are accessories to murder. Since their personal information is revealed, all the players sign out in hopes of avoiding being an accessory. Therefore, Vee is finally free from this game. Once it is over, Vee reveals that she and Ty put together this plan and she was not actually shot.
I thought this connected to our class and our themes in multiple ways. First, it ties into the false sense of security we all feel behind a computer screen. When all those people voted yes or no, they thought they were remaining anonymous but in reality, the game had all of their information. This also plays into the idea of participatory culture and how all these people jumped on the bandwagon of this game without thinking of the repercussions. I would teach this movie along with the Black Mirror episode Hated in the Nation because they have many overlapping themes. A potential assignment that could include both of them would be a presentation that compares and contrasts the digital consumers and the way they buy into these apps for a terrible outcome.