"It’s a UNIX system! I know this!"
There, now get it all out of your system. Quotes about chaos theory, clever girls, big piles of things… there is a lot to love about the 1993 Steven Spielberg classic Jurassic Park, especially that ridiculous(ly great) scene near the end where Lex hacks the park’s systems to bring the power for the door locks back online. All she does is mash the keyboard and slowly navigate a terrible early ‘90s CGI interface, but man, was it ever exciting. These days we can enjoy a terrible, misinformed hacking scene at least once a night depending on your police procedural of choice, but back then? Awful hacking scene enthusiasts had to rewind VHS copies of the premiere dinosaur movie over and over to get their fix. Well, that, and their VHS copies of Lawnmower Man, WarGames, Hackers…
But now you, too, can find the right file in Jurassic Park’s UNIX system if you play I Know This, an indie game based on the beloved computer-hacking scene. It’s fairly accurate to the original movie with blocky, era- graphics and synth music. And just like Lex, all you do is mash the keyboard to find the right file. There is even a terrible Clippy from a Microsoft Office stand-in named Clicky who gets in your way and gives you hints (though Mr. DNA would have been a nice touch).
Born out of Global Game Jam 2015, the team for I Know This comprises of Renaud Bedard, Gavin McCarthy (in charge of art and design), Adam Axbey (sound effects) and Matthew Simmonds (composed the music). Bedard explains:
“When I saw the movie as a kid, that scene (and the file system UI that Lex ‘hacks’) always stuck with me as a quintessential faux-futuristic Hollywood representation of how computers work. I learned a bit later that this GUI was not made for the movie, but actually existed on SGI workstations and was ported to Linux as well, so it’s more legit than it looks! But in the end, it’s still a really great artifact of 90’s VR hopes and dreams, in which everything is better in 3D, even file browsers. (and Web browsers, too).”
You can live out your own Jurassic Park hacking fantasies by visiting here and downloading I Know This for free on Windows, Mac and Linux. Who knows, maybe it will help prepare you for the inevitable callback scene in Jurassic World.
Photo Credit: William Warby/Flickr