We are currently in the clutches of a world where maintaining a virtual avatar on social platforms is more important than actually stepping out into the real world and interacting with people. We live our lives, drowning in the hypnotic blue glow of our screens while forgetting the "now" that constantly escapes us. Ernest Cline's novel, and now Steven Spielberg's movie "Ready Player One," focuses on the virtual reality aspect of a society in the year 2045.
The story opens with an 18-year-old Wade Watts who resides in Columbus, Ohio in 2045. During this time, nearly everyone is living out their wildest dreams in a virtual gaming world known as the OASIS and Wade is no different. Just like the others, Wade has an avatar named Parzival who is free to roam in the OASIS. The OASIS was created by a man named James Halliday, who before dying, includes in his testament that he has hidden three keys in the OASIS that lead to an Easter egg and whoever collects the egg can rule the OASIS.
However, several years have passed since and no one has found the first key. While some people are busy living their fantasies, some are still out searching for the aforementioned keys. In the front lines of all of this, a businessman named Nolan Sorrento runs a company called IOI which hungrily employs workers so they can collect the keys, take over the OASIS an,d exploit the riches of the virtual world.
I saw this movie in 3D and I was amazed. Spielberg's direction and story literally pull you into the front lines as if you were a part of the OASIS and the VR world. I don't think other 3D movies are capable of pulling the viewer in like that. Spielberg was able to draw from many '80s pop culture references to make this movie not only nostalgic but somewhat relatable. Plus, Spielberg hides many of his own Easter eggs in the movie by placing many pop culture figures in different scenes, so keep your eyes peeled!
As a person who loves video games and the internet, I can definitely relate to Halliday in many ways in terms of how he feels. He realizes a little too late that nothing can beat human connection and yet we are moving at the speed of light to visualize everything. Books, traveling, and other experiences that were meant to relieve us from our screens and take us outside now draw us into our screens even more.
We have "friends" online sitting in different parts of the world (which isn't necessarily a negative point), and sadly if these said friends were to sit next to us on the train, or walk next to us during the morning rush hour we wouldn't even know! For the longest time, my screen name on all my social media platforms and even my gamer ID was "Fang" and my friends didn't know. We realize what Halliday realized too late, yet there isn't much we can do to stop it because otherwise we become social pariahs and lose touch with people who we've known for years.
Now I'm going to openly admit that before watching this movie, I didn't get a chance to read the novel. Hence, I have nothing to compare the content to. Yet, even with that aspect, the movie felt cohesive from start to end with no loose threads, and I enjoyed every bit of it. As a plus, and something I have never done before, I will read a book solely because I enjoyed the movie (usually it's the other way around).