What does this film, which plays with the idea of a shared virtual gaming world somewhat like a “meta-verse,” tell us about the tensions between the creator of that virtual world and those that would monetize the creation? How does the film contrast the bleak real world of the gamers with the excitement and sense of mission that exists in the simulated world, OASIS? Why does the film choose to scratch the surface of the risk of escapism that comes with such technology? What are we to make of the film’s focus on the creator’s retreat from the risk involved in confessing his love for a love interest? What purpose does this backstory serve with regard to the main character? Why does the film not seriously explore the question of whether or not the OASIS is a good thing for humanity, given the apparent misery of the real world? Does the film in some way encourage such escapism even for those that are in less than dire circumstances? Why are the majority of people in the world of Ready Player One willing to spend so much of their biological lives playing in OASIS? Is this neglect of the real world why the situation on Earth has so seriously deteriorated? Why does the film so heavily indulge in in nostalgic reference to pop-culture of the 1970s and 1980s? What should we take away from this celebration of ‘nerd culture?’

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