"Computer Games"

A modern day crime movie.

Vince and his wife Anna are successful computer games creators responsible for the concept and design of some of the most popular computer games played worldwide. They live and work in a converted lighthouse in an isolated part of the north-eastern seaboard. They are the archetypal new age success story, until Anna is killed in a car crash on her way to a business meeting. The loss of his partner devastates Vince. He quickly turns into an alcoholic and recluse, his only refuge his lighthouse where he wanders the rooms in a drunken stupor.  Shortly after the funeral Vince's major client, Bill decides to get in touch and see how he is and to see if Vince wants to continue working on a project that he was working with Anna before her death. Bill tries telephoning, faxing and e-mailing Vince but there is no answer. Finally he decides to travel to the lighthouse and find out for himself what is going on. When he arrives he finds the place in total disorder. The living quarters look like a war zone, empty wine and whisky bottles litter the seats and floor, ash trays are over flowing with cigarette ends and the remains of joints and the sink is blocked by dirty plates and uneaten plates of food. Bill wanders around until he comes to the office area in the top of the lighthouse. Here he finds Vince drunk and passed out over the keyboard of his computer. He puts Vince to bed and, as Vince sleeps, he tidies the place up.

The following day Vince is still dead to the world and so Bill goes up into the office to a computer to e-mail his office. As he sits at the computer he discovers some computer zip files and looks to see what they are. They appear to be the plot of a new computer game written in a series of disjointed notes, storylines, plans and outline drawings.  He finds some graphics discs and discovers the images of people and characters within the storyline. When Vince finally surfaces Bill makes him a meal, and as they eat, he gently brings up the subject of the new game he has found. To his surprise Vince knows nothing about it. Bill takes Vince up to the office and shows him the discs and their contents. Together they try to makes sense of the information and, by the following morning they have pieced most of it together.

It seems the files contain an outline idea for a computer game based upon the concept of a criminal pulling off a huge computer fraud involving the embezzlement of millions of dollars from banks across the world. Being involved in some new work seems to be helping Vince's healing process.  Over the next few days Vince and Bill work out the plot line and begin to assemble a rough copy of the game programme. Using e-mail they begin to send the files to the computer programmers at Bill's company in New York.

During the following few days the two men are joined in the lighthouse by a girl called Apple who comes to work as general cleaner and housekeeper. In one of Bills many phone calls to his chief designer at his office the designer mentions that one of the characters will have to be changed as it bears a striking resemblance to a real person, a banker who was recently killed in a car accident. The coincidence is laughed off but something makes Bill worry. Without telling Vince he decides to cross-reference all the characters in the fictional game with their counter parts in the real world and finds that they all really exist.

Suddenly he realises that what they all thought was a game is actually a real scenario. The crime is real and the characters are all real. Somehow Anna must have found out what was going on and the discs she left behind were her own "case notes." Bill also begins to suspect that both Anna and the bank manager were murdered. However there is a lot they do not know, such as who is behind the crime and whether it has already happened. Bill decides to act, and after telling Vince his suspicions, he contacts his driver (Driver) who is an ex private investigator that specialised in corporate security. He also employs a leading computer hacker (Matt) to hack into the computer banks of various banks and police records. Gradually they begin to piece the situation together. They discover that the robbery is about to happen, and that it is being committed by a group of corporate businessmen led by a retired bank chief. They crack the computer codes and links that the robbery plans to use, and as the robbery begins they hack into the criminals' network and redirect the monies via other electronic routes to safety. The robbery is foiled, but the evidence still needs to be gathered and the criminals brought to justice, before they discover where the money was diverted to, and who diverted it!

As they are working together the lighthouse is suddenly attacked. Apple calls in re-enforcement's and reveals herself to be an undercover IRS agent. In the resulting gun battle the attackers are beaten off, but at a great cost Matt is injured and Vince is killed. As the plot draws to its final conclusion they discover that Anna was having an affair with the owner of a rival computer games company (John Loudermilk from Omega Games). Apple tells them that she has been working on their case trying to uncover where their money was originating. Unknown to everyone Omega was in difficulties and had only been kept afloat by the cash injection of drug money. Loudermilk had used his influence to get Anna to design the perfect computer crime, disguised as a game. When she realised what was going on she was killed. The movie comes to its end as the loose ends are being tidied up. Matt works with the IRS and police by tracing the computer fraud. Driver and Bill prepare to return to New York, but as a final postscript Driver decided to stay and attempt a relationship with Apple.