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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I Can't Get Behind Tron


The science fiction community and the computer nerd community cross paths on occasion.  And so it's no wonder that movies like Tron get big accolades from my peeps.  I vaguely remember trying to watch the original Tron when I was a wee one, but I thought it was boring.  I tried watching it again when I got Netflix, to see what the hoopla was about.  And it was still boring.  It felt like someone filmed a game of laser tag.  I was looking for a video game element, but you don't get it with UV light and frisbees.  You get it from brightly colored mushrooms and swords with laser beams.

But beyond that, now I still can't get behind Tron: Legacy (the new one with Olivia Wilde).  Stylized CG graphics, heart-pounding action.  But beyond it, there's still frisbees and light cycles.  I used to play a game called Paint on my grandfather's Commodore 64 that worked the same way, and there was nothing cool about it.

I guess the real reason is that these are supposed to be "computer programs" and they're represented as people with identity discs that can be destroyed by playing a game.  I'm a computer programmer and applications don't work like that.  One program doesn't dominate the other.  There's no fighting for space/memory/whatever in jousts or races.  Unless you're a virus vs. an anti-virus program, most things that live on a computer share the resources.  They live in harmony, and remain fairly ignorant of each other, for the most part.

Computers are not war zones.  They're just automatons.  They don't get happy, they don't get sad, they just run programs.  There is no Jeff Daniels or Alan Rickman in my CPU trying to take over the world or deciding which programs get installed and which ones get deleted.

I want to see real stuff in Tron, like Mac OSX vs. Windows 7.  That would be a movie.
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