TRON made me do it…

by on Apr.10, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

With the long out-of-print Disney film TRON finally getting re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray this week (as well as it’s worthy sequel), I thought I’d post a summary of the original story in 24-pages of artist’s renderings, courtesy of the 1982 Read-Along Adventure Book-and-Record, The Story of TRON, and share a few memories of what TRON made me do when I first saw it in theaters as a grade-schooler…

I think every kid owned a frisbee or two, but by the 1980s, they were all lost under the bed, in the closet, or somewhere in the garage. But after seeing TRON, this forgotten old relic from the 70s got dusted off and put to good use as a projectile-missile in order to replicate the disc-war segment of the film.

Originally I tried building my own custom Tron-like disc out of cardboard, only to abandon it for the much superior (and more painful) standard frisbee. Think of dodge-ball, but with hard plastic discs, and no adult-supervision getting in the way of the fun, and you get the idea. Many bruised fingers were incurred from trying to also use the frisbee as a shield to deflect incoming discs.

After a bit of brainstorming trying to figure out how to modify our standard bicycles to leave a deadly light-wall behind them (one failed attempt involved attaching a piece of chalk to a stick that extended out the back wheel and scraped along the ground. Didn’t work.) my circle of friends and I finally realized that all the thrills of the light-cycle game could be captured by just ramming our bikes into each other. The rider of the bike still standing was declared winner… but in a way, we were all winners.

This may sound strange, but one way I found of expressing my loyalty to a particular video game when I was a kid was to try to make my own board-game adaptation of it. The fact that home-console adaptations of arcade hits were still pretty crude and rarely captured the action of its arcade inspiration no doubt fueled my desire to take matters into my own hands.

A few years later when I finally got my first PC, I would try making my own versions of arcade hits coded in BASIC, though they were usually about as crappy and un-fun as my earlier board game attempts.

For the light-cycles board game, I ended up cutting out dozens of little colored rectangle pieces to use as jet-wall sections. Of course they never ended up staying in place, and the draft from a door opening, or a good sneeze, would derez the entire match.

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