Is The Video Game In 'Nerve' Real? The Film Shows The Dark Side On Online Behavior
The new movie Nerve, starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, is about an extremely popular online game that takes over people's lives and puts them in great danger. Now I know what you're thinking: How did they already make a movie about Pokémon Go? But that's actually not the case. The movie is about an online game called Nerve, which is essentially an extreme game of broadcast truth or dare where people either volunteer to be "players" or pay to be "watchers." Sounds totally believable, right? But is the video game from Nerve real?
The online game, which works by having the players participate in increasingly dangerous dares for money and fame while the watchers observe them and suggest dares for their own sick entertainment, is thankfully a work of fiction. The reason why a lot of people assume that it's real may be because of the directors of the film: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. The pair previously helmed the documentary Catfish , which dealt with the real life dishonest and bizarre underbelly of the internet. And it's the dark potential of online behavior that drew the filmmakers to make Nerve , which is based upon a YA novel of the same name by Jeanne Ryan.
"The internet is neither good nor bad; it just depends on how you use it," Joost told Crystal Bell of MTV News. "I think there's a way of looking at Nerve as a really empowering game, and it's also the most awful thing that you can possibly imagine. I think that applies to a lot of things online and the ways we're living our lives these days." As far as real life comparisons go, the directors admit that livestreaming app Periscope — which was released during filming — shares the same voyeuristic quality as Nerve . "Periscope did not exist when we started. By the time we finished, it did. And we were like, 'Oh this app is like half-way to being Nerve,'" Joost told Kristy Puchko of Screen Rant.
Although Nerve doesn't exist as a game, but it's not hard to imagine something akin to it coming down the pike. With the internet influencing celebrity culture with promises of instant fame and fortune, coupled with the anonymity online that promotes voyeuristic and inhumane behavior, something like Nerve becoming a reality definitely feels like it's in our not-so-distant future. I just hope that when and if it arrives, it's the empowering side of the game that dominates — and not the awful side.
Images: Lionsgate; Giphy