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I originally understood the digitization process of Tron/Tron: Legacy to create digital representations of the users, but now I'm not so sure (especially since Sam is shown to bleed on The Grid).

After Sam reunites with Flynn in his hideout, he sits down for a meal with Flynn and Quorra.

Similarly, programs are shown drinking at the End of Line Club.

If the Users are actually physically transported, it makes sense that they may need to eat or drink - but what about programs and ISO's? Do they need to eat or drink?

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    In the original TRON there is a scene where Flynn, TRON and Ram stop to drink from a pool of ... something. – Xantec Feb 19 '13 at 15:00
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    The answer to this question will probably explain 'bloatware' too – user11295 Feb 19 '13 at 15:10
  • They drank from an energy pool – eidylon Feb 19 '13 at 15:13
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The role of water and food and in the Tron world is not clear, but they are called Energy.

Energy acts and behaves like water and food from the real world, and is essential to programs just like food and drink are essential to us in the real world. If a program does not have enough energy, he or she may derez.

Despite being not sourced, I think the affirmation of energy being essential come from 2 sources:

  1. In the original Tron, Flynn saved Yori's life by transferring some his energy to her before she derezzed.
  2. In the TRON 2.0 and TRON: Evolution video games, energy is used as health (but it's not regained by eating in either game)
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What they are seen drinking in Tron is Energy

According to the Tron Wiki Energy is used "as a fuel for vehicles and as a vital nourishment for all programs" It takes the place of food and drink in the real world. The drinks served at the End of Line Club are refined Energy. Users can also consume Energy while in the Grid.

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