In the near future, mind control technology has taken the gaming world by storm. Eccentric genius Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) has
invented self-replicating nanites which having revolutionized the way video games are played.
These nanites can take control of the human brain, allowing all motor functions to be controlled by a remote third party. The first video game to utilize this technology was a pseudo-“Second Life” game called “Society.” In “Society” paid participates allow gamers to take control of their bodies, using them as the gamer wishes.
To capitalize on the success of “Society,” Castle invented a new game called “Slayers.” This game is similar to contemporary third-person multiplayer shooter games. “Slayers” allows gamers to take control of death row prisoners to play large-scale deathmatch games. Any inmate who manages to survive 30 matches wins their freedom and a full pardon.
Given the massive success of “Society” and “Slayers,” Ken Castle has become one of the most rich and famous men in the world. Castle, however, is notoriously eccentric and shuns the public spotlight.
The most famous “Slayers” played in the world is a 17-year old gamer named Simon who has control over Kable (Gerard Butler). Kable is infamous for surviving 27 consecutive matches, more than any other contestant before him.
While Castle is giving a rare talk show interview, the broadcast is highjacked by an activist group called Humanz. They claim that Castle will one day use his nanite technology to take control of the world.
To undermine Castle’s power, Humanz plot to free Kable. They hack into Castle’s mainframe and give Simon the ability to speak to Kable. After receiving a warning that Castle intends to kill him, Kable asks Simon to relinquish control over him during his 30 match. Having been freed, Kable escapes the deathmatch. Not wanting the news of Kable’s escape to reach the public, new outlets report that Kable was killed in his 30 match.
Kable is taken to the Humanz leader (Ludacris). The leader explains that Castle’s mind control technology could be used on anyone,
allowing him to take over the world. He tells Kable that since Kable’s incarceration, his wife has been working in “Society.”
Kable heads to “Society” to free his wife. After freeing his wife and escaping Castle’s security, Kable returns to the Humanz headquarters. At the headquarters Kable learns the truth behind his incarceration. Kable was used as a test subject by Castle. Pushing the limits of his technology, Castle overrode Kable’s free will and forced Kable to murder his best friend. Due to this act, Kable was sentenced to death. The Humanz tell Kable that his daughter has been placed under Castle’s foster care.
Kable infiltrates Castle’s compound to liberate his daughter. He is confronted by Castle, who leads Kable to a basketball court. Castle reveals his true plan. We learn that Castle has replaced 98% of his brain with nanites. He can use these nanites to anyone who has been infected with nanites. To prove his superiority, Castle takes control of Kable, freezing him in place while Castle beats him.
Castle then reveals that his soldiers have found the Humanz headquarters and killed the rebels. He has also seized Kable’s wife and daughter. Castle then attempts to force Kable to murder his own family.
After a struggle, Kable manages to seize control of his will. The two surviving Humanz members then broadcast Kable’s confrontation with Castle to the world. Castle attempts to make Kable kill himself. Kable manages to manipulate Castle into thinking about stabbing himself, which allows Kable to gain enough control to kill Castle.
With Castle defeated, Kable reunites with his family. The film ends showing Kable driving with his wife and daughter down a scenic country road.