Andy Gainey

I recently watched the movie The Imitation Game, about the computer scientist Alan Turing and the defeat of the German Enigma encryption machine during World War II. (This post isn’t really about the movie, but I’ll take a quick detour to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was emotionally moved throughout; I highly recommend it.) It has been posthumously speculated that Turing had Asperger’s syndrome, and this speculation seems to me to have had an obvious influence on the direction, writing, and acting of the movie. While I don’t want to get bogged down in controversies over historical accuracy, cliche methods used to win movie awards, or any attitudes or comments of the director, writer, or actor concerning autism, there is one facet of how Turing was presented in the movie that I do wish to discuss. I came out of the movie having strong but mixed and confused feelings about the portrayal of Turing in relation to his possible autism. It has been a little tricky to sort out those thoughts and feelings, but here’s my best shot at it. (more…)