Ready Player One Review

David Peng

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A moviegoer couldn’t truthfully claim that they noticed even half of the Easter eggs and references integrated into the action packed, sci fi fantasy Ready Player One. Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book with the same name by Ernest Cline, the movie has so far been a theater success.

It is 2045, and everyone has immersed themselves in the OASIS, an online virtual universe where people can play and do anything imaginable using augmented reality. The story follows Wade, known online as Parzival, and his (also online) friends, Art3mis and Aech, as they race to find the game’s ultimate Easter egg: a grand prize left behind by the OASIS’s immensely wealthy owner.

Spielberg faced the challenge of satisfying two main groups of audience members: fans of classic video games and the book who wished to see the spirit of 80s pop culture, and casual moviegoers who would not understand half of the references. While the sweeping changes to some plot points and characters make the movie capable of holding its own as a completely different story, Spielberg manages to maintain most of the overarching themes and feelings of 80s nostalgia from the book. When he comes to moments from the novel that simply would not have translated to a screen, Spielberg substitutes scenes that are just as enjoyable.

Some of the most notable changes from the book were made to the three main quests that lead up to the golden egg, and the altered importance and depiction of the real world. Though we no longer get to see the Tomb of Horrors module from Dungeons and Dragons, or other classical games like Zork and Black Tiger, we do get a thrilling race scene as the opening of the movie, and a satisfying (if still scary) homage to the classic horror movie The Shining by Stephen King.

Overall, although Ready Player One did not deliver on every expectation fans of the novel, the movie still makes up for most of its pitfalls with fun, enjoyable action and memorable nods to the games and culture of our past.