Reading Response #5: Westworld

I had heard about Westworld before and never decided to look at it, now I can say I regret that decision.

Westworld is a weird mix of Sci-fi and Western in a way that makes it feel like the two worlds were meant to go hand in hand with each other. Where people with fat wallets can indulge in a Western fantasy story unlike any other. One where the people and the experiences are all predetermined and scripted much like that of a video game.

One of the things that I found disturbing about Westworld was the realness of it all. The fact that the Hosts as they were called were so real and life like that they could be passed off as Human as long as you interact with them the way they’re meant to interact.

The concept of Androids being too Human to distinguish has always been explored in the media in which they’re engaged. Westworld took it’s own turn with this and made it so that the Hosts we see are all Human like yet identified by the source codes they’re set to follow.

It’s harrowing to see their reactions and their personalities show through but it’s even more worrying to know that it’s all a fabrication by their creators. The Hosts feel like Human beings until they react in a way that no Human can, and still they seem more like people than the actual people in Westworld.

The Programmers and the people overseeing the project feel more robotic and detached than the Hosts themselves. Whenever they’re on screen there’s always talk about some sort of issue with the Hosts being too life-like but some believe that it’s normal for them to feel and to remember and dwell on prior experiences.

Westworld, to Me, is a story where there are no real Humans. There are people and there are Hosts. Neither of which could be considered Human because of how they behave. As said by Dolores’ Father Mr. Abernathy at 46: 21 “Hell is empty and all the Devils are here.” In this weird balance of People and Hosts, the Hosts are the ones that feel more like people. They change and grow and shift in personalities, and the biggest example of this is Dolores.

She starts out in the beginning as someone who would never harm a living creature, a picture of what the ideal Host would look and act like. She doesn’t deviate from her scripts, she doesn’t react in ways that seem off, and she lives the life set and scripted for her. Even when Mr. Abernathy begins to deviate after seeing the strange photograph, she replies with the repeated lines “Doesn’t look like anything to me.” and “I don’t know what you mean. I don’t know what you mean.” However, at the end of it all when things have begun to change and the project is becoming more unstable, Dolores does something entirely unscripted.

She swats at a fly and kills it. A Human action that directly contradicts her character of someone who’d never harm a living creature.

Westworld is a world where the Humans are machines and the Machines are made Human, and I really enjoyed that twist it presented with the shift of Dolores’ character and the eeriness of her deviating from her preset algorithm.

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