Games in Clockers

The movie Clockers added several motifs that the book did not really explore too much. One of the motifs that I found interesting was the idea of the world of clocking as a game. The “game” metaphor was literally portrayed through the gangster game that Tyronne plays. As in real life, Strike feeds Tyronne’s interest in the game of gangster. For Tyronne, the moment that he kills Errol breaks his innocence. He then realizes how little fun the world of drugs and guns can be. At the beginning of the film and the book, the world of gangster is also a game to Strike and Victor. In the bar, Victor talks about “My Man” to Strike as if Victor is a part of the game. However, there is no “My Man” and Victor kills Darryl Adams himself. When Victor goes to jail and leaves his family, he realizes that name-dropping is just a part of the game, and regrets his actions. Stirke’s observation of the downfall of both Victor and Tyronne break him. By the end of the film, he leaves Dempsey. For Rocco, homicide work also seems to be a bit of a game. When he is examining Darryl Adam’s body, his snarky and playful remarks take away from the serious nature of murder and investigation. However, his intrigue with the case makes murder real to him again and takes him away from the game. When he suspects that Strike is playing games with him, he is infuriated. All four main characters undergo a transformation that causes them to lose their fascination with the game. Yet, the last scene with the detectives searching another body reveals that the game continues. Even though Strike, Victor, and Tyronne are no longer playing, others are still participating.

2 responses to “Games in Clockers

  1. I agree that one of the central motifs in Clockers the movie was “the game.” It was at the center of attention for every character in the movie. When the game stopped being fun, thats when characters started to want to stop playing. For example, Strike giving up drug dealing. Even Vicctor’s habit of hard work could be seen as a game, and when the game got to be too much, he killed Darryl. Strike seemed to be the most entrenched in his game because his entire mentality was based around it.

  2. I agree that there is a sense of a”game” being played through out the film but I felt the presence of the “game” toward the detectives as well. There is a scene where Rodney says he is going to kill someone and the detectives tell him not to tell them who he is going to kill because they like the game of finding out the truth themselves. I think there is something to be said about Spike Lee’s protrayl of the detectives and how they view the death of the gangsters as games for them to play.