Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Game

TNG Season 5 Episode 6
Air Date: October 28th, 1991

Cmdr. Riker returns from Risa with a game, a device that goes on your head and creates an augmented reality. But when you win a level in the game, it stimulates your pleasure center of the brain but also the reasoning center. Together the game is able to provide rewards to the brain for desired behaviour and is used as a brainwashing tool by the Ktarian.

Wesley Crusher is on vacation from Starfleet and is immediately put to work. Only Wesley would work on his vacation. It is here that he meets Robin Lefler, played by Ashley Judd in her second and final TNG episode. Together they figure out the danger of the game and watch as it takes over the entire ship. Everyone except for Lt. Cmdr. Data who was shutdown under the guise of a malfunction. They are able to revive him and stall so he can devise a way to break the addiction everyone has for the game before the Ktarian can take advantage.

The episode overall was odd as you were constantly seeing people walking around aimlessly playing the game and shuddering out in pleasure much like someone having sex. There is even a scene where Wesley and Robin are on a bed fake playing the game moaning over and over again.

Gene Roddenberry has been credited time and again for inventing technology in Star Trek that would eventually become common place. He invented the tablet both phone and full size. But in this episode he foresaw what augmented reality would be like. The game resembles Google Glass, and technologically Microsoft Hololens. While I am sure others before Roddenberry had come up with augmented reality this was the first time I ever saw it in mainstream media and with a long gap til the next time.

Robin's Laws

Robin Lefler was an interesting character and while her relationship with Wesley was at best awkward and cheesy, her character was interesting. We don't see her character again on the big screen but she does make appearances in novels. She tells Wesley about her rules which she calls Robin's Laws. Here are all the ones we know about

1. You can only count on yourself.
12. Execution is nine-tenths of the job.
17. When all else fails, do it yourself.
26. Never lie, not even when it's easier than telling the truth.
29. The sightseeing's just as good on the way home.
32. If life hands you lemonade, don't try to make lemons out of it.
36. You gotta go with what works.
42. Any joke that has to be explained isn't worth explaining.
46. Life isn't always fair.
52. Never underestimate a man's ability to make you laugh.
83. Whenever you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
91. Always watch your back.
103. A couple of light years can't keep good friends apart.
108. It's not over until it's over, and sometimes not even then.
116. When someone is trying to kill you, it's okay to sweat.
117. Never send a Klingon a Tribble.
125. Getting information out of Zak Kebron is like interrogating a statue.


"Geordi, a conflict has arisen between the planetary evolution team and the stellar physicists. Each wishes to be the first to use the thermal imaging array." - Lt. Cmdr Data
"Well, tell 'em to flip a coin. We've got to work together on this mission, otherwise we're never gonna get it done." - Lt. Cmdr. La Forge
"A coin? Very good. I will replicate one immediately." - Lt. Cmdr. Data

"By the way, I'm Wesley. Wesley Crusher." - Wesley Crusher
"I know. Just came back from the Academy." - Ensign Lefler
"That's right." - Wesley Crusher
"Robin Lefler." - Ensign Lefler
"Hi." - Wesley Crusher
"Hi. Your neutrinos are drifting." - Ensign Lefler
"They're what?" - Wesley Crusher

"I never met a chocolate I didn't like." - Counselor Troi

"I spent all of my time around technical equipment. My first friend was a tricorder." - Ensign Lefler
"Really? My very first friend was a warp coil." - Wesley Crusher

"Wesley, if you meet someone, whose initials you might want to carve into that elm tree, don't let it interfere with your studies. I failed organic chemistry because of A.F." - Captain Picard

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