In the 2016 movie Nerve, it is established that the game runs on a decentralized platform, when every phone player is a node itself and thus can't be shut down by terminating one single server.

It is also established that at least some dares and decisions are chosen by watchers voting. However in a scene where Vee is trapped inside a container, an old iMac is there and the Nerve "voice" talks to her. It also seems to know where every player should be in the right place and right time with the right things (Ian has a book that Vee likes and the game knows that by scraping her Facebook, the stairs for the Sydney dare showed up by two random dudes), which doesn't seem viable in a direct democracy thing.

Is the game controlled by some sort of an artificial intelligence?

  • 1
    Interesting question but I think you are reading too much into plot contrivances. – Paulie_D Jul 10 '17 at 19:26

No, I think it's fairly clear that the 'Nerve' is controlled by all the people who are 'watching' it. This is basically made clear towards then end, when:

Tommy and his hackers modify Nerve's source code to decrypt the watcher's code names and send them a message: "You are an accessory to murder". All watchers immediately log out of Nerve, closing down the game's servers and effectively ending it once and for all. Vee is unharmed; she and Ty had staged her murder to scare the watchers into disbanding Nerve. Everyone's money and identities are restored.

The film is a commentary on internet culture and sites like 4chan where the users have done less than legal things in order to humiliate, blackmail, etc the people they choose to target.

Sure, some suspension of disbelief is required for some of the scenes (those that you mention) but there really doesn't seem to be any omniscient 'true' A.I. that is in control.

  • Even more so, the existence of an omniscient AI, or even just a single malvolent person, behind everything would largely undermine the point of the movie. Yes, someone created nerve, but it is the anonymous mob that is the true villain here, albeit an individually non-malvolent one, which makes it even more of a tragedy. There is no single face or algorithm the watchers can blame their actions on. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 6 '18 at 1:18

If a pseudo-automated software qualifies as some sort of an artificial intelligence then yes.

We don't really know what interface do watchers have to propose dares, or the information available to them or how is a dare proposed to the community, voted on or 'approved' by the game.

Although it is quite decentralized, I believe there is a central hub running the main thread (whose code is modified by the hackers at the end via simulating many approvals by fake users) where the decisions are made based on the information provided by watchers and what-not...

Also, it is a movie and the plot has to be kept interesting.

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