For the American FM radio station, see WOPR-FM
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WOPR (pronounced "whopper", an acronym for War Operation Plan Response) is a fictional military supercomputer featured in the movie WarGames and its sequel. WOPR runs an artificial intelligence program which plays heuristic war games, including one called Global Thermonuclear War, in order to develop nuclear strategy and advise NORAD commanders.
In the film WarGames, the fallibility of human missile commanders leads to a decision to remove them from the command loop, replacing them with the WOPR. Unbeknownst to the military, WOPR was programmed with a level of sentience by its inventor. This sentience, combined with the computer's new role, leads to confusion between real and simulated data at NORAD, and nearly to an unintended nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.
In WarGames: The Dead Code
In the 2008 direct-to-video WarGames: The Dead Code, WOPR was retired and replaced with RIPLEY, a new artificial intelligence supercomputer. WOPR was used to run a hydroelectric dam in Canada but RIPLEY sends an unmanned predator drone to destroy the old WOPR.
WarGames director John Badham invented the name "WOPR" when he thought the NORAD SIOP (Single Integrated Operational Plan) was "boring, and told you nothing". "WOPR" according to the director plays off of the Whopper hamburger and a fuzzy image of something going whop.
The WOPR computer as seen in the film was a prop created in Culver City, California, by members of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 44. It was designed by production designer (credited as visual consultant) Geoffrey Kirkland based on some pictures he had of early tabulating machines, and metal furniture, consoles, and cabinets used particularly in the U.S. military in the 1940s and 50s. They were adapted in drawings and concepts by art director Angelo Graham. The prop was eventually broken up for scrap after production was completed. However, a replica exists but is housed in an downtown Los Angeles industrial building at an undisclosed location.
In other media
- WOPR appears in the loose video game adaptation of the film, WarGames: Defcon 1, as one of the playable sides in the game. Its units consists of futuristic robots.
- In the ABC Family television series Greek, Kappa Tau, one of the show's fraternities, maintains its academic good standing through the use of a computer program that simulates a student, enrolling in classes and getting high grades to raise the average grade point average. The virtual student's name is "Joshua Wopr."
- WarGames was parodied in an episode of Robot Chicken. In the sketch, the nerd is searching for cheat codes online after being beaten in a game and comes across a military defense computer like WOPR (jokingly named B.I.G.M.A.C.). He uses it to nuke Canada, and is apprehended by the U.S. military. They waterboard the nerd into telling them Mordor is in Pakistan, and then jail him.
- In Eureka, when S.A.R.A.H. takes several residents of Eureka hostage, it is mentioned that she was based on an interrogation program, which was in turn based on a war games simulator. When this is mentioned, SARAH asks "Would you like to play a game?" (the entire cast frantically says "no!"), implying that the war-games simulator she is descended from is WOPR.
- In the video game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, on the level "Act III, No Fighting in the War Room", a Russian W.O.P.R. clone appears off to the side of the main course of the map, where SSgt. Griggs and Captain Price are complaining about how slow the doors are. On the casing, the text "В.А.П.Р." is printed, which is a Cyrillic transliteration of 'V.O.P.R.", similar to "W.O.P.R.".
- An AT&T and SBC commercial features WOPR hooked up to a voice synthesizer talking about computer speech with an automaton, Rosie the Robot Maid from The Jetsons, KITT, and Robby the Robot.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Nine issue 12 entitled "Guarded, part 2", the WOPR label is prominently displayed below the master power switch on the server that controls the TinCan social network.
- A tile-matching video game, WarGames: WOPR, was released for iOS and Android devices in 2012.