Hacked! Ender’s Game Crash-Lands at MIT

by Jay London on November 4, 2013 · 3 comments

in Campus Culture, Hacks, In the News, Modern Geekhood, Space

Credit: Hairuo G. '17

Credit: Hairuo G. ’17

Based on the antics of recent years, early November could be considered prime hacking season.

This year is no different, as rogue fans of the legendary science fiction book series Ender’s Game hacked Lobby 7 sometime over the weekend. The hack may have been celebrating the series’ long-awaited movie adaptation and depicted a hectic scene, with what appeared to be the International Fleet defending Earth from the alien Formics*.

Update: Thanks to alumni readers Eric G., Daniel L., and Michelle M., we now knows that the hack did not depict a battle between the International Fleet and the Formics, but a training exercise in the anti-gravity Battle Room.

Student bloggers from MIT Admissions were the first to document the hack, which also included draping the logos of three battle school armies in the Ender’s Game universe—Griffin, Dragon, and Tiger—down Bldg. 10. The battle scene took place near the center of Lobby 7, in an area currently roped off for construction purposes related to the building’s refurbished skylight.

Credit:

Credit: Hairuo G. ’17

The Ender’s Game movie premiered in the U.S. on Friday, Nov. 1, and earned nearly $28 million in its opening weekend. The book series, which began in 1977, consists of 13 novels, 13 short stories, and 47 comic issues.

Credit: Bruce Mendelsohn

Credit: Bruce Mendelsohn

As with many things science fiction, the books and film have MIT connections. Author and blogger Wax Banks (a.k.a. Walter Holland ’01) has called Ender’s Gamea kind of shared keystone text” for MIT students and the film’s visual effects supervisor is Matthew Butler SM ’93. NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff PhD ’92 served as a technical adviser for the film.

Credit: Hairuo G. '17

Credit: Hairuo G. ’17

Read more from Rachel D. ’16 and view more photos from Hairuo G. ’17 at the MIT Admissions blog. Special thanks to the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program’s Bruce Mendelsohn (@gordonmitelp) for the photo. For more hacks, check out Slice’s archive of hack-related posts.

*Admittedly, Slice staff has not yet read the series or seen the movie. We apologize to our readers and the International Fleet (but not the Formics) if our battle description is incorrect!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Mendelsohn November 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Some background on how I captured this shot: After several years at MIT, I’ve learned that Sunday nights into Monday mornings in early November are prime hacking time–with minimal traffic in what are normally highly trafficked areas. So I like to come in very early on Monday morning and walk (or run) around campus. One of the students in the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program tipped me off to this elaborate hack, which was dismantled before 9 AM.

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Daniel Li November 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Just FYI in case you wanted to know, the scene appears to me to be depicting a battle in the Battle School.

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Eric Gentry November 5, 2013 at 12:39 am

For what it’s worth, Daniel Li is correct. It depicts a game which is a training exercise in Ender’s Game, which is a formative moment.

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