Ready Player Two

If you haven’t seen Ready Player One, be forewarned, this post is kind of for people who have already seen it. Go ahead and continue on if you’ve witnessed its splendor or if you don’t mind getting spoiled on said splendor.

Me holding a Ready Player One Poster

Ready Player One was made for people who find solace in being someone other than themselves. (Well, technically, it was made for a general audience, but you’ll see what I mean here in a second.) Underneath the awesome veneer of ’80s pop culture references, the movie tells a tale that should be familiar to any soul who knows D&D stats better than dance moves.

The inside jokes and hidden cameos of Ready Player One made all the geeks in the theater (including me) exclaim and laugh in delight. The movie was a veritable smorgasbord of gaming culture icons. The entire audience during the premiere I attended burst into applause and shrieks of joy when a Gundam began to take on Mechagodzilla.

But the underlying truth that struck all of us in our hearts was the idea that even the best games (and the best movies) ultimately mean nothing if you don’t have someone to share it with.

Now, I’m not solely referring to having a romantic partner with whom you can gush about games with. A complete stranger you meet on a forum or during a multiplayer match can just as easily create a connection between the two of you over a devotion to a game.

There’s no better love for a game than a shared love for a game.

Seriously, put two Halo fans in a room, and they could happily spend hours discussing (arguing) the merits of each installment of the Halo franchise.

In Ready Player One, a man named James Halliday created a virtual world called the Oasis. You could make anything, play anything, be anything in the Oasis.

As someone who built the pinnacle of gaming worlds, Halliday used games as a barrier between him and the rest of reality. He loved games to the extreme, but he loved them alone. It’s only at the end of his life (when it’s kind of too late) that he comes to regret not engaging with his only real-world friend and co-creator of the Oasis, Ogden Morrow.

That was the part that got me. Halliday created this amazing world that exceeded the bounds of the imagination, but it meant nothing without his best friend beside him.

If you haven’t seen it and you just so happen to like games, be sure to check out Ready Player One.