Video Gaming (EL 250)

2 Jan 2006


Tron was hailed for its ground-breaking computer-generated representation of a virtual world inside a computer.

The characters are forgettable, and it's really hard to take that creepy rotating face seriously as a threat. A few discussion prompts follow. Feel free to address one or several of these points, or bring up your own discussion topics.

What value statement is this movie making, when it depicts armed guards hijack what one character describes as "innocent programs" designed for serious work (accounting) and forces them to compete in gladiator-style combat?

We are told that the MCP (master control progam) started off as a chess program, but that it somehow evolved to take control of the entire mainframe.

Within the virtural world of the computer, "users" are mythical god-like beings,and programs exist to serve them. Compare this attitude to the depction of programmers in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.

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Hey all! If you watched Tron...

Check out the entry on my blog at Color in a Lurid World.

Posted by: Evan Reynolds at January 2, 2006 01:13 PM

Oops! The comment system stripped my link. Here is the link to my entry:

Posted by: Evan Reynolds at January 2, 2006 01:14 PM

I also put my interpretation of Tron on my blog "Tron: Destination. Tron: Religion." I had too many discrepancies to fit in such a tiny space.

Posted by: Stephan Puff at January 2, 2006 06:51 PM

Why does the computer program and the human kiss? And then Tron gets some kissing action too. If that is 'telling' to the author's intent, I'd have to argue that this movie is about fascism and freedom(with some nice visual effects to make people keep watching) other words, the kiss was a really weak point in the movie.

Posted by: Stephan Puff at January 2, 2006 06:55 PM

I agree -- Tron was great entertainment when I saw it as a kid, and it's a pleasant retro diversion now, but it falls short of greatness. WarGames, for all its dated technology (the rotary pay phone!) has weathered time better, even though WarGames is preachy and it's usually the preachy works that don't age well.

Still, the kiss is part of a recurring sub-theme that presents people who are good at computers and games as being deficient in their relationship with people. (Flynn is the ex boyfriend in the real world.)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 2, 2006 10:55 PM
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