Walter gibbs fired.jpg
Dr. Walter Gibbs (PhD)
Biographical information
Birth Date July 16th, 1915
Status Alive
Physical description
Gender Male
Hair Color Grey
Eye Color Blue
Other information
Functions Founded ENCOM and helped developed digitizing technology.
Programs MCP, Dumont
Allies Kevin Flynn, Alan Bradley, Lora Baines
Out of universe information
Actor Barnard Hughes
Appearances TRON

TRON 2.0 (Mention only)


Dr. Walter Gibbs (PhD) is a supporting character in TRON. He is the founder of ENCOM and mentor of Lora Baines.

Biography[edit | edit source]

On July 22nd, 1972, Dr. Walter Gibbs (PhD) founded the company that would later become ENCOM within his own garage. As ENCOM was just beginning, Gibbs had written a prototype chess program which, with upgrades and modifications added on years later by Ed Dillinger, would eventually evolve and grow uncontrollably into the MCP. Gibbs also wrote a program called Dumont for handling all communication between users and programs. Despite his status as ENCOM's founder, Walter was sidelined from any position of authority by Dillinger, who had taken over running the company. Nonetheless Gibbs remained with ENCOM, working with Lora Baines on digitization technology, which suggests that Gibbs was retained as head of ENCOM's research & development division.

Walter in the Laser Bay.

When Dillinger heavily restricted access to the company's computer systems, Gibbs voiced his concerns about this directive and also about Dillinger and ENCOM's overdependence on the MCP, and expressed his unhappiness with the directions Dillinger was taking the company. After Dillinger responded with an implied threat to have Gibbs dismissed altogether from ENCOM, Walter retorted:

"That was uncalled for. You know you can remove men like Alan and me from the system, but we helped create it. And our spirit remains in every program we designed for this computer."

Gibbs would never know that his statement was almost literally true. Many of the programs within the computer world had developed into avatars of the very people who wrote them (the Dumont program being an alter-ego of Gibbs himself).

Walter's place at ENCOM, after Dillinger was deposed, is unrevealed. But, as was the case with Alan and Lora, it is extremely likely that newly promoted CEO Flynn also re-promoted Walter Gibbs very generously.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Gibbs was a kindly man, enthusiastic about his scientific work and with a paternal sense of responsibility for the company he had founded. He also exhibited wry humor about the role of technology in the daily lives of its users: "Won't that be grand; the computers and programs will start thinking and the people will stop!"

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