The circles of cinema and video games rarely found a way to get along. Video games are too often considered as derivative products from the film and are released botched with a short lifetime. On the other side, movie producers tried to adapt the most popular games, without success once again, except for World of Warcraft eventually. Here, a compromise seems to have been found. Oh, and by the way, Steven Spielberg is the film director. Yes, Steven Spielberg.
But, what movie are we talking about?
The movie we are talking about is called “Ready Player One”, and is the adaptation of a book. What is the link with the video games then? Well, it’s a novel whose story deals with a numerical world, virtual, that people join by wearing a virtual reality headset and a technological suit. This alternative world, called “The Oasis”, looks more like Second Life than a true VR game, but the number of video game references proves the attraction of the author, and the director by extension, for gaming and for their universes.
The scenario is about a treasure hunt inside the “Oasis” and the winner will win a huge amount of money and become the “King” of the Oasis. The problem is that the Oasis is the biggest wealth source in the world at the time. This potential earning will attract powerful people, especially powerful industrialists to start the hunt, using all their means, even lethal ones, to achieve their goal. The main character, Wade Watts, is a normal student, but he’s going to have a glorious destiny inside the Oasis and will see his normal life threatened by the phagocytic ambition of the powerful people looking for the treasure.
The hero is also going to find love, in the Oasis and in real life, and like many relationships started on the net, reality can be different from what you experienced in the virtual world, for the best or for the worse.
A large number of references…
One of the specificities of the movie is that we are buried under video games references. True screenplay necessity or pure fanservice, you’ll decide, but you’ll reach again, sometimes nostalgia, often pleasure, with characters like the Iron Giant, Tracer, the DeLorean, King Kong, or the Spartans from Halo. We hope this movie won’t rely only on this kind of fan service.
In any case, the idea of the movie is interesting. We don’t know if the future real world will look like the dystopia described in the movie, but the possibility to seek shelter from video games to run away from reality is pretty close from the truth, and the development of technologies makes the hypothesis of an over-realistic VR, pushed to body sensations, very plausible. We hope not to be disappointed by another cinematographic adaptation of the gaming world, but we advocate to let the benefit of the doubt to such a talented director as Steven Spielberg. See you on March 28th!