Thoughts: Ready Player One enters the theaters

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If you love pop culture, references, and really want VR to take off, then there's a movie out right now that you should go see. Steven Spielberg takes us on a digital journey into the world of the Oasis in Ready Player One, based off the book of the same name by Ernest Cline. 

If you've ever wondered why Spielberg decided to make period dramas instead of blockbusters, well this is a perfect example why. He makes it look so easy. His ability to adapt a rather convoluted and overblown story into a well-crafted narrative while still maintaining the spirit of the book is exactly why he is a master of the craft. The opening racing set piece is easy to follow while still being able to track the references and nods that are packed in this film. Character interaction feels natural while the players themselves aren't superhero gamers, but rather have a sense of realism to their talent. Spielberg is still able to create a vast world that feels familiar and yet exotic all the same. 

This film is based off a book that packs itself with references to games, film, and pop culture. What Ready Player One does best is replace the references the book makes with more relevant and easier to identify cultural artifacts. Gone are characters trying to win Joust and instead we have an action packed race; a reference to War Games is replaced with The Shining; a multilayered final challenge is swapped with an homage to gaming's first ever easter egg; and most of all, completely discard the perfect game of Pac-Man, which was the most farfetched idea in its pages. No thanks. Now we have a film that delivers on a concise message about games and relationships and a legacy that means nothing without love from friends and relationships. That may sound hokey, but its execution is well-documented to the point of it not being overbearing. 

Steven Spielberg has created a wonderful film that pays homage to games of the past while referencing pop culture in a fun digital adventure. Ready Player One has plenty of offer for everybody and provides a plethora of nods to keep your attention. Definitely go see this film. 

- Mike