An Anti-Computer Movie?
Some critics have claimed that Tron is an anti-computer movie, in the tradition of films like Failsafe, The Forbin Project, Demon Seed, 2001, and, recently, Evilspeak. The critics point to the demonic program, MCP, and its classic computer obsession of revenge against its human users.
According to writer-director, Steven Lisberger, Tron is not anti-computer at all. In Lisberger's eyes, the computer is . a powerful tool that is ethically neutral. The story is about a fantasy world that exists in the wires, circuits, and electronic impulses flashing through the computer, reflecting the outside world of human "users." In fact, all the major human characters have electronic counterparts - programs - which inhabit the computer, and have the same good/evil alignment as their real world complements. As in the world we know, good and evil are locked in constant struggle.
Our Computer Shadows
Tron's image of the computer is far more than fantasy. According to Lisberger, our computers' knowledge of the outside world is growing swiftly. In the form of electronic impulses, bits, data, and information banks, they've created a primitive reflection - an "alternative universe" - corresponding to our world. In the years to come, that reflection will grow more lifelike and complete.
You, I, and millions and billions of other people have an alter ego - a simulacrum - that resides inside and extends across dozens of computers. That simulacrum is crude - a mere ghost or shadow. It consists of only a few thousand bytes, contains massive gaps, causing distortion or innacuracy. But, as computer programs become more intelligent and advanced, they can better interpret the information, and the shadow's features begin to approach our own. This evolution of computer shadows into electronic "echoes" of living, flesh -and-blood beings is factual. It is occurring right now, at great speed, and can be documented.