GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

The 'Tron' Effect

Tim Lapetino (Creative Director, Tim Lapetino Design)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Vision

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

In 1982, Disney released an experimental science fiction film by an unknown director. While Tron was a financial disappointment, the cutting-edge movie would go on to be one of the most visually and technically influential films of that era. The movie was influenced by early video games and computers, and in turn, birthed its own original video games, design tropes, pioneering CGI work, and generations of pop culture influence. Author and design historian Tim Lapetino will unpack the influence of Tron in arcades, home computers, and visual culture 37 years after its release.


Attendees of this presentation will learn how the early visual design of both the Tron film & video games historically set the stage for modern CGI-focused filmmaking and production, and raised the bar for video games in the "golden era" of arcade games. Listeners will gain a greater appreciation for the creativity and innovation of this property and its influence on visual culture.

Intended Audience

Anyone who is interested in how a single movie can affect the cultural zeitgeist across video games, pop culture & beyond.