THIS SUMMER, TED TURNER'S TNT WILL PREMIERE Pirates of Silicon Valley, a history of Apple and Microsoft, starring ER's Noah Wyle as Apple founder Steve Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall (of Breakfast Club fame) playing our billionaire Bill Gates. TNT calls Pirates of Silicon Valley an "original movie," but as a biography of Bill Gates this is not "original" at all. In fact, it is second in line and almost 17 years behind Hollywood's first Bill Gates bio-pic, John Badham's WarGames.

Watching WarGames again, it becomes apparent that it is not really about the threat of nuclear war, but instead a prophetic biography about the man who would become the richest person in human history, following our golden boy's blazing trajectory from bedroom to boardroom. Even though Gates was already rich in 1983 (by this time, Microsoft had sealed its crucial contract with IBM), he was still essentially a nobody, and very few people (if any at all) recognized WarGames for what it really was. But the facts are indisputable.

WarGames is about a computer geek (played by another '80s brat, Matthew Broderick) and takes place in Seattle (this is too good to be true). Broderick plays David, who--like Gates--comes from a wealthy family, and is not doing well in school. Indeed, it seems--again like Gates--he is destined to drop out. In his bedroom, the geek possesses a powerful (for its time) home computer, with access to the Internet! (Did not Bill Gates boast of owning a personal computer long before any of us dreamt of such a machine?) Anyway, one afternoon Broderick shows off the power of his PC to Ally Sheedy, a young woman who bears a striking resemblance to Melinda Gates. Ally Sheedy is what local sci-fi writer Bruce LeSourd calls the "geek fantasy... she is a spunky, self-sufficient sidekick/girlfriend." She finds the power Broderick flexes when he's on the computer both sexy and irresistible. "God, this is so unbelievable. Can I tell my friends?" she asks lustfully, after learning that his home computer nearly caused the destruction of the world.

It is in the final sequence of the movie that Bill Gates' life story meets its destiny. In this scene, NORAD, the military's missile computer, plays out images of the world being destroyed by different combinations of nuclear blasts. As Bill Gates looks at these computerized worlds, consumed by spreading lights of doubling and tripling bombs, he--and everyone else in mission command--marvels at the fact that one home computer could cause all of this destruction. "What is it doing?" Melinda asks, while in Gates' confident arms. "It's learning," he says, and kisses her on the lips. Indeed, at this point he knows he has the world underneath his finger tips. Power is no longer with the military, nor the President, nor the scientists; no, power is with this young man, this geek, this drop-out. Is this not the story of Bill Gates?

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