Grigory Ryzhakov – Russian Writer

Ender’s Game. Survival vs Genocide

What victory to one is extinction to another.

Ender’s Game is a film adaptation of the first book in Orson Scott Card’s famous YA sci-fi series. It’s the story of a young boy called Ender Wiggin becoming a commander of the spaceship fleet built to rid the Universe of the race of insectoid creatures called Buggers (coincidence or not, Card is known for his homophobic views).

Imagine you are a bright teenager, extremely talented in tactics and strategy. Is this sufficient for you to become a leader? Ender should be humane and fair to deserve respect of his subordinates and, at the same time, ruthless enough to make necessary sacrifice in the battle in order to eradicate the aliens. Is it possible to find such a balance?

Ender’s team goes through some exhausting training in a sophisticated computer simulated environment to get ready to fight the insectoids. Meanwhile, Ender is tortured by a dream where questions of his subconsciousness start getting answered: Who is his enemy? Is it as deadly and evil-natured as he’s been told?

Ender’s Game is a view from the 1980s on biological inter-species competition. Is it moral to kill off another species if it is intelligent, or is it a genocide? Same question is raised by many when we talk about dolphin slaughter in Japan. But dolphins don’t threaten us? How about sharks?

Is our perception of morality and humane treatment, therefore, a slave of the survival instinct? When threatened the mankind turns back to the savage state, – savage doesn’t think, savage acts, because thinking can cost you life.

In the final story twist,  Ender attempts to find a compromise when he faces  the moral dilemma of xenocide. We can find out about the consequences from the sequel book/film.


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