Ready player one is the ultimate thriller to keep you glued to your seat for the entire show. The movie is based on a novel by Ernest Cline released in mid-2011 which is basically an action-filled adventure story of Wade Watts, the lead character in the book. The movie is a whirlwind of pop culture with most of the characters being derived from a nostalgic point of view. The soundtracks are also derived from an 80’s playlist which is sure to keep you rocking in your head. Unlike the book, which only includes characters from a nerd culture Cline is familiar to, the film is a combination of different cartoons, video games, and movies which relates strongly to the childhood of today’s middle age generation. If you were never a fan of video games and cartoons as a child, then you may miss out on some of the most exhilarating scenes in Ready Player One. Many people have criticized the excessive pop culture portrayed in the movie to a point where the film seems to rely on that aspect alone. This, however, is also the major thing that gets fans and sci-fi lovers glued to the screen, plus the action and thrill.
The Real World
The sci-fi film is set at a time when the world has gone through an economic-shattering war and epidemics that have left the general population mushroomed and stuck in a single place with nowhere else to go. The year is 2045, and most of the available public amenities are rare and strained. Some have to scavenge to get their share. The plot, however, does not delve into how the world got itself into such a state of annihilation within less than 27 years. With nowhere else to go and the desire of adventure burning, the OASIS is born as an escape to the harsh reality.
The Virtual World
The OASIS is
“a world where the limits of reality are your own imagination”
as Wade Watts puts it in the film. It is a virtual world where anything is possible. Here, everyone can become the best-imagined version of themselves.In the OASIS, every player has an avatar which is their character in the virtual reality. The OASIS is filled with numerous challenges and competitions which the players have to navigate through to win. The players either collect or lose coins during the game. If they lose and fall in debt in the game, they can end up being imprisoned or forced to work in real life. Of course, there has to be a quest which in the movie requires the lead character, Wade Watts, to stop IOI which is the company in charge of the OASIS from attaining monopoly and taking over the entire population. He has to follow the tips James Halliday, the real founder of the oasis, had left behind after his death to find the Easter egg and take ownership of the oasis.
Ready Player one is mainly centered on the virtual reality that is the OASIS where most of the action goes down. However, the virtual and the real world have a shared destiny with actions in the virtual game reflecting on real life. On top of this, IOI is focused on controlling the whole population through turning players into debtors. The corporation goes so far as to target people in the real world if they think they are capable of disrupting their plans in the virtual reality.
Wade Watts is the awaited savior of the people from IOI. After James Halliday’s death, he desired only to do one thing, and that was to leave the OASIS into the hands of someone who would protect the people. Halliday had created a maze of challenges for anyone to ensure that only someone who was noble enough would retain ownership of the OASIS. Wade’s creativity and smarts are put to the test in virtual challenges where he must not only win but think outside of the box to get the prize. Wade has to compete in a New York demolition race with all sorts of obstacles, fight terrifying zombies and make his way through a field of snow and ice to fight a battle in an icy fortress. Ready Player one has all the scenes that qualify for the thrill, suspense, and adventure; some of Spielberg’s specialties.
Pain and Regret
In the movie, James Halliday, the founder of OASIS is filled with a lot of guilt and regret over his life decisions. Despite having made the greatest virtual reality network known to man, his life was an empty shell having lived it all developing the program. He gave no time for his lover, Karen and isolated himself from his partner Ogden Morrow all his life and in the very end, he realized his mistake.
His story pours a bit on the moral of the film which Wade had to learn by going through the challenges left by Halliday. We can see that the OASIS is great and the best escape the citizens of the world have although eventually, they have to unplug and go back to their stacked trailers. The people dwell so much on the OASIS that they forget to look after their real lives. This seems to be the point that Spielberg tries to reach out to watchers and players alike. In the end, having learned this, Wade Watts declares two days off every week from the OASIS to get people moving with their real lives and stop their virtual reality addiction.
Compared to the Book
Unlike most movies that deliver less than the original book, Ready Player one managed to improve on the book having brought more characters which gave it a broader audience. The aspect of cartoons and video games was also an improvement that proved fitting as the film had more scenes and characters most can relate to. Having Spielberg on board was probably the best idea they had because he brought out the electrifying thrill that people’s imagination can achieve coupled by the virtual reality’s “no bounds” challenges that stood before them. The movie didn’t divert from the book’s primary quest which was to preserve the OASIS from those who would use it to bring harm. I would say the movie was actually an upgrade of the book since the book itself featured a story that would be best explained in a thrilling movie; pop culture, characters and not to mention the unspeakable view of the virtual reality come to life.