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Behind the Scenes: The Power of SCADA in Movies and Games


We all know that SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is Nor-Cal Controls bread and butter when it comes to renewable energy. Commonly used in industrial control systems to monitor and control processes such as manufacturing, oil, and gas production, and of course the power generation.


But did you know that SCADA systems have also made their way into movies and video games? In some (fictional) cases, they are used as a tool for hackers and criminals to exploit, while in other storylines, SCADA is used to control and manage complex industrial processes.


Let’s dive into some examples on how SCADA has been portrayed in movies and games.

Lights, Action, SCADA!
In the action film Die Hard 4.0., terrorists use a fictional SCADA system called "the grid" to cause a city-wide blackout and disrupt infrastructure. The system is vulnerable to attack due to poor security measures, and the terrorists are able to use it to gain control of traffic lights, power stations, and other critical infrastructure. The hero of the movie, John McClane, must work with a hacker to take down the terrorists and restore order to the city.

In the dystopian sci-fi film Elysium, a massive space habitat is controlled by a SCADA system that monitors and controls all of the advanced technology on board. The system is operated by a small team of technicians who are responsible for keeping everything running smoothly. However, when a rebel group tries to take over the habitat, they attempt to use the SCADA system to gain control of the technology and overthrow the ruling elite.

The Data Control Thriller
In the movie The Bourne Legacy, SCADA was portrayed as a powerful tool used by the government agency, CIA, to track and monitor the movements of its agents. SCADA was used to track the location of the agents through GPS devices implanted in their bodies. The CIA used this information to remotely monitor the agents' activities, including their vital signs and physical performance, which helped to evaluate their performance and provide medical support when needed. The use of SCADA in this movie highlights the potential risks associated with the use of advanced technology in surveillance and control.

If your more into gaming, Factorio tasks players with building and managing automated factories, including the use of SCADA-like systems to monitor and control the production process. The player must carefully manage resources, automate production, and keep the SCADA system running smoothly in order to succeed.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a fictional SCADA system called "Palisade" that controls the security of an entire city. The player must navigate the system to gain access to restricted areas and complete objectives, while avoiding detection by the system's advanced security measures.

The presence of SCADA technology in movies and games can be attributed to its significant role in our industries’ critical infrastructure. The added SCADA element to these media forms of entertainment can also be used as an educational tool that promotes awareness of the importance of SCADA technology in our increasingly growing industry.


Yippee-ki-yay! In our Nakatomi Plaza of the engineering world, we're perfectly equipped to handle all of your SCADA and PPC requirements for PV solar projects and Energy Management Systems (EMS) for those that include BESS. Our team can meet any control mode needs for your project faster than John McClane takes down terrorists. Schedule a call with us today and let’s get your SCADA game on!


Alisyn Gularte

Written by Alisyn Gularte

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