So what is Ready Player One?
Ready Player One film is a 2018 American science fiction action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline based on Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name. It stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance. It takes place in 2045, when much of humanity uses the virtual reality software OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation) to escape the desolation of the real world. Orphaned teenager Wade Watts (Sheridan) finds clues to a hidden game that promises OASIS’s ownership to the winner, and he and four allies try to complete it before a corporation run by businessman Nolan Sorrento (Mendelsohn) can do so.
So what did the reviewers say about Ready Player One?
Most of the critiques of Ready Player One film were good.
For all its ferocious energy, Ready Player One strikes me as the product of a cinema of exhaustion-it’s a film about having come too far and being at the end of something, where extraordinary things no longer mean much, or have become toxic.
Although some found it a bit of a cliché more sitting in the fan fiction realm, most agreed it was a great watch.
What does Sarah say?
I remember the first time I watched Ready Player One film. I knew nothing about the film and it looked like something I wouldn’t enjoy. I was wrong; I loved it. It felt like a journey, an experience. It had thrills and spills, moments where I lost my breath and so many references to the 80’s I wanted to cry. Yes, it was a bit cheesy in places but I think that was what I loved most about it. It was a wild ride and for someone who isn’t into gaming at all, I was surprised at how much I loved it. It also felt like we were indulging in not only the character’s innermost dreams but the innermost dreams of the writer too. It was like some people had put all the bits they love about everything nerdy and made a film and surprisingly it worked.
What are the key learning concepts of Ready Player One?
This film touches on dreams and hopes and possibilities but it also touches on some really important topics too.
The danger of immersion in an entirely virtual world.
If you ever wondered what the world would look like if we entirely immersed ourselves in a fantasy world? Ready Player One shows us that. With most people spending more time in the Oasis than the real world all the people in this world really care about is the on-line world and the real world has taken on less importance. This on-line world is obsessive to most of the inhabitants and people are working to get money to spend in the Oasis. It’s actually quite frightening, particularly when you look at the advertising connotations and the people that are really making money from this.
The real world versus reality.
There is lots of talk in this about the real world versus the reality world and the differences and dangers, so the fact in the end that the young people want to focus more on the real world is very heart warming. Interesting to note here we are again in a world where the adults have very little impact on or spend very little time with young people.
Avatars versus real people and how you never really know.
Although not mentioned explicitly in so many words there are lots of discussions when the characters meet in the real world about how they differ from their avatars – boys being girls, people being younger, less pretty, etc. than in the fake world. No one looks like their avatar, which is really interesting to see.
Nerds rule the day.
Perhaps with a nod to Silicon Valley, we see here that the nerds win the day. The outcasts, the misfits, and the ones that no one believed were worth anything. While this is predictable I’m all for it. I’ve long thought that nerds are the way forward and I love that they save the day here.
How to use this film as a conversation starter.
There are so many conversations that this film could start.
There are questions that can be asked about the on-line world.
Why do people prefer the on-line world to the real world?
I can imagine this would start a great conversation that all sorts of things could spring from.
There could be amazing conversations between Avatars and online persona. There are a lot of good things that can come from creating personas they can show us the good parts of ourselves the parts we want to change and improve and shine a light on the areas we need to learn to love. We can learn a lot about ourselves by pretending to be someone else, something that is done a lot in drag, wrestling, and roller derby for example. There is real confidence that can be gained for taking on characteristics of a ‘better’ you.
Just think of the conversations you could have with a young person around this.
But by far the best conversations you can have here are the conversations between the real world and the online world. What are the potential upsides or downsides of spending a lot of time in the on-line world? This film, better than many others, shows this so well and would be a great way to start having these conversations in a more meaningful way.
Wade Watts and his life are a great way into some serious conversations you can have with yourself, your partner or any young people in your life.
What did you think of this film?