Inception: The Quintessential Mind-Game

In his article, Thomas Elsaesser presents the idea of Mind-Game films being the result of technology. He writes that “it would therefore be not altogether unreasonable to assume that new technologies of storage, retrieval, and sorting, such as the ones provided so cheaply by the computer…will in due course engender and enable new forms of ‘narrative’” (Elsaesser 22). This description highly reflects how CTM considers the mind works through “storage, retrieval, and sorting” (Elsaesser 22), except they place it in the arena of technology instead. From this description, and the fact that Inception is not a traditional narrative, one could see how the film is not only a reflection of Computational Theory of Mind, but of the newly developing gaming culture, which is why it combined the two. Since the movie presents the idea of a systematic, computer-like brain, it would only make sense that in this technologically booming age to show the brain database including a game.

Inception is the quintessential idea of the Mind-Game film; the title of this type of film literally combines the two biggest aspects of the film: how the mind works and how it creates a game within the film. Through the use of symbols, levels, and time discontinuity, the film supports the idea of the mind being like a database on the computer that is the brain. Inception, just like the Computational Theory of Mind, is a complex idea. It is not easy to assert that humans, with all the emotions and desire they contain, are only really complex computers; yet, Inception successfully tries at this idea, with adding the exciting addition of a game to make it more appealing to today’s society.

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