: New: WarTron Spoiler: How We Didn't Enter the World of Tron

Once again, I'm writing about something that didn't happen during WarTron, which is the worst kind of spoiler, but sometimes you need to write about things that didn't happen.

WarTron was based on the movies WarGames and Tron. There's a scene in Tron in which our hero is scanned and thus pulled into the computer world. No question about it, you need to get teams into the computer for the game, otherwise why choose Tron? But our hero doesn't really experience his scanning. He's held in place, unaware of what's happening. One second, he's leaning back in his chair in a flash of light; the next, he's standing in a strange echo-y room. How to evoke this scene while making it clear to characters that this is a transition from real-world to computer world?

I would use a Kinect. Maybe several Kinects.

Players are summoned to an office. Before they can enter the office, they enter a dark entry-room. There's the flash of the strobe, which then goes dark. Then they're brought into what they think is the office they were supposed to visit. Except that Curtis is there, dressed funny, in an outfit with el-wire.

He tells them that they are computer representations of users out in the real world. They can act as the users' agents here in the world of the computer. But to do that, they must first synchronize with their users. How to do this? Basically, a game of Kinect Dance Central. Players get in front of a screen which shows their "users". "User" makes a move; player must attempt to copy that move to demonstrate being "in sync". To evoke the look of the scene from Tron, the Kinect projects a cone of visible light on the player. Players go through a few rounds of Dance Central. When they thus show that they are "in sync", they can go on to their next challenge.

The flash of light to represent Flynn's view of his scanning; at this point in the game's story, the players are pulled into the machine. The lasers to evoke the movie scene from the movie audience's point of view. It's not clear why you'd need scanning lasers inside Tron's computer world. Then again, hardly anything inside Tron's computer world made any sense, so don't dwell on that.

If GC is feeling ambitious, they might even write their own Kinect Game. Instead of Dance Central, why not Kinect Semaphore Central? Your "user" can send you a message via semaphore, but you must copy his moves or else he has to start over. Would it be easier or harder to Kinectly-interpret a players' poses if they're holding aluminum foil signal flags? Hmm. Hmm.

The tough part would be re-jiggering a Kinect to use visible light for its scanner instead of... whatever it uses. (Infrared light? I guess it uses infrared light. Anyhow.) I spent a while trying to figure out if that was even feasible. But then I realized I was an idiot: go ahead and use a regular Kinect; put a dance-club-light-show laser next to the Kinect.

Either you'd need many Kinect stations or else you'd have to make sure that the activity was pretty darned easy. Assuming you couldn't afford many Kinect stations, you wouldn't want this activity to become a bottleneck. Besides, when Flynn was scanned in, it was a quick process, right?

Such a clear vision I concocted. I was thought it was pretty likely that GC was going to do something like this. I was totally wrong, of course.

Tags: wartron identity theft

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