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Ready Player One: I Don’t Think Player One Was Ready?

Hello, everyone!

How are you? Me, I’m fine. A little tired and a lot of ‘I didn’t get enough sleep’,  but that’s nothing new.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to actually leave my house and go somewhere that is not the office, and I watched Ready, Player One. And for the first time in my life, I actually accidentally, maybe fell asleep a little  And I have to say, I didn’t really enjoy that movie. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to write a little bit about my thoughts on the movie.

Ready Player OneIn the near future, Watts escapes from his daily drudgery by logging onto an MMO game called ‘The Oasis’. When the game’s billionaire founder dies, he offers players his fortune as the prize in an easter egg hunt within The Oasis. Watts gets in on the action then after five years finds himself facing off against corporate foes who will go to any lengths to get the money — in both the real world and in The Oasis.

*may contain spoilers from the movie

Back in January, I added Ready Player One to my list of movies to watch in 2018. My reason for wanting to watch it is simple. I see ‘book to movie adaptation’, I add to my to-watch list. So when my brother, who would usually never want to watch any non-Marvel movies, asked me if I wanted to go, I said ‘sure!’.

Before I get into it, I feel the need to mention that I have not read the book. Shocking, I know. But really, at the rate I’ve been reading, it would be more surprising if I have. I am also not knowledgeable about games, old, new, vintage, modern or anything in between other than the really obvious ones, because as bad as I am, I do not live under a rock and I can recognize Mario when I see him! 🙂

Okay!

I could tell from the beginning that I wasn’t going to LOVE Ready Player One. I have a complicated relationship with narration in movies. I find it to be a “lazy”(?) way of revealing all the backstory, character introduction, etc.

The idea of Virtual Reality is very fascinating to me. My brother is a game developer so it’s even more fascinating to him, which is also one of the reasons why we wanted to watch this movie. I often compare video games to reading, in the way that they are both immersive methods of escapism that appeal to different people. So I thought that Ready Player One would be about people taking escapism to a whole new level, completely ignoring reality in favor of virtual coins, places, and life in general.

And in a way, I guess it is. But not long into the movie, I noticed that Ready Player One would end up being like any other Young Adult book to movie adaptation, which makes nearly everything from that point on predictable for me. I understand that there are definitely good messages that the movie tries to convey, but I don’t think that this is the movie that people need to see to understand.

With my brother being a gamer, I sometimes find myself unable to relate to what he’s trying to tell me because I am not a gamer, just like how he doesn’t relate when I talk about books. And I think the same goes for many gamers out there. So I figured, this would be the movie that gamers could relate to, and also for non-gamers to understand them a little better maybe?

But after watching the movie, I feel that the only reason for all the game references is to get gamers to watch ‘just another YA’ movie. There are so many references (honestly the whole movie feels like a reference) to video games, and while it’s kinda fun to spot the ones I could recognize, it feels like they were there just for the sake of being there. This article probably explains it better than I can. I think that the book is probably different from the movie (obviously, right?), I read somewhere that it has more research and problem solving, but the movie has a very straightforward plot. If you take away the video game references you could probably still understand it.

I didn’t really know what I was getting into, other than it’s about VR and video games. I thought it was going to be something about how people are taking escapism to a whole new level and by the end, they’ll realize that as bad as reality is, it’s better because it’s real. And while something like that does happen, the whole VR thing is still a HUGE part of their lives (let’s just consider that our inevitable future?).

I don’t mean to be so salty, okay? But I went into this movie really hoping to like it, instead, what I got was another movie with an unassuming hero who ends up saving the world from a power hungry villain with the help of his ragtag group of misfits. If I wanted to see something like that, I’d watch The Hunger Games. I feel cheated, and so does my brother.

But to be fair, and also to avoid being completely negative about absolutely everything, I have to say that I was very impressed with the technology. I think that the visuals are stunning and the action sequences are very fun to watch. I really like the idea of this movie and I really think that a lot of people will enjoy it. Plus, I love sci-fi, so that’s a plus 🙂

So in the end, I didn’t like Ready Player One as much as I hoped I would. Does that mean it’s a bad movie? Probably not. I’m sure there are A LOT of people out there who love it, including my friend. But it’s just not for me 😦

Have you seen Ready Player One? What did you think about it? If you haven’t, are you planning on watching it soon? Tell me in the comments! 😀

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