Time and again The-Simpsons-Halloween-Specials are to be seen on television. In one particular episode, Homer 3 (1996) by Pacific Data Images, Homer tries to hide behind a cupboard as his wife Marge’s sisters are about to pay a visit to the Simpsons’ home. When Homer touches the wall he discovers that he can reach through it. As he is a TV-buff with an ample pop-culture-knowledge, it’s instantaneously clear to him, that through the wall he can reach another dimension, just like he had seen it in The Twilight Zone or Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist. When the dreaded sisters-in-law approach menacingly, Homer escapes right through the wall. And he indeed enters a new dimension, a world like, as he himself remarks, it is portrayed in the 1980s’ movie Tron. Homer isn’t anymore depicted as a flat cartoon-character, but rendered three-dimensionally. He stands on a rectangular grid—the ever-resurfacing archetypical symbol for computer-generated 3d-space—, neon-glowing mathematical equations and geometrical primitives float and drive around in space. In the end Homer unvoluntarily opens a fast growing black hole into which the whole space and its contents, including himself, vanishes … just to reappaear in, well, yet another world.

This reminded me of yet another episode, The mysterious voyage of Homer (1997), wherein Homer eats quite a quantity of extremely spicy chilli-con-carne and in consequence has to live through a LSD-style trip. He enters another world (the techniques used by the artists change here, too), speaks to a turtle and a fox, climbs a meso-american pyramid and so on—an allusion to drug-induced experiences of separate realities described by famous cultural anthropologist, pop-culture hero, and godfather of the New Age, Carlos Castaneda.
In the early 1970s drugs were the metaphors for portals to other worlds, since “Neuromancer” and “Tron” it’s ICTs. And I am inclined to believe that the idea for the computer-rendered Homer was triggered by Homer-themed modifications of player characters for First-Person multiplayer-shooters.

Homer Q3

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