Commissionned work, private collection - January 2023

WOPR, the War Operation Plan Response computer from the 1983 film "WarGames", is an iconic and influential character in the history of science fiction cinema. With its cutting-edge depiction of technology and its thought-provoking story, "WarGames" remains a classic of the genre and a timeless cautionary tale about the power and potential dangers of computers. WOPR, with its advanced artificial intelligence and its central role in the film, has become a cultural touchstone and a symbol of the anxieties surrounding technology and its impact on society.

This 1:12 scale model was commissioned by a private collector and is made mostly using polystyrene sheets. 3D resin printing was used for small parts and details. The model is fully animated with 960 blinking lights that mimic the movie patterns.

The surface mount LEDS being square, a front plate with 3D printed "bulbs" that replicate the movie lights were put in front of the custom PCBs to give it's unique look. The light pattern can be changed using the "DEFCON" button found at the back of the model, cycling through "idle", "playing thermonuclear war" and "hacking the nuke code".

With its complex round shapes and 1960s IBM computer era inspired design, the WOPR is easy to recognise. Custom white decals were used for the logo on the WOPR itself which give its signature look. 

One of the main challenge of the model was the numerous blinking lights. Matching the scale required designing custom PCBs that wrap around the corners of the model, creating a custom matrix screen driven by a STM32 microcontroller.

The microcontroller refreshes the screen around 60 times per second, and reproduces the light patterns based on animation sequences encoded in 2 dimensional binary arrays, using the vertical 8 lights as one byte.