What video game remakes can teach Hollywood

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi writes a column on videogames called The DeanBeat, while executive editor Dylan Tweney is writing a technology and business column called Dylan’s Desk. They are available to newsletter subscribers a whole day before they appear on the VentureBeat website. This week, senior editor Devindra Hardawar is taking over for a flu-ridden Dean.

A Q&A that is 25 years late: David Scott Lewis, the mystery hacker who inspired the film “War Games”

“War Games” was the seminal geek hacker movie that inspired many a young cyber sleuth when it debuted in 1983. The movie told the story of how a kid found a back door into a military computer and accidentally set off a nuclear confrontation and launched the careers of actors Ally Sheedy and Mathew Broderick. Twenty five years later, the movie is still credited for creating the public’s impression of the life of hackers. David Scott Lewis, the one-time hacker who was the model for Broderick’s David Lightman character, spoke about the movie on stage on Saturday at the Defcon conference. I first met Lewis in 1994 when one of his friends described him as a “walking encyclopedia.” Now 50, he’s a clean-tech executive living in China and just starting writing the Zero Day Defense blog. I caught up with him again in front of the faux Trevi fountain at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas under a cheerful but fake blue sky.