With more pop culture references than you can shake a joystick at, Ready Player One finally reaches cinemas, to a mostly positive reception from fans of Ernest Cline’s eponymous novel. Steven Speilberg transports us to 2045 where a Steve Jobs-esque creator of the OASIS, a hugely popular open world virtual reality game, reveals he has hidden an Easter egg within the game. Whoever finds it first will inherit a trillion dollars and control over the game’s future. Enter Wade Watts. Known in the gaming world as Parzival, he takes on the IOI corporation, which seeks the egg in a bid to monetise and restrict what is most of the world’s only form of escape. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 30 years you’ll recognise something in the film’s many nods to pop culture, making this dystopia weirdly nostalgic.
Let’s face it, nostalgia is big business but it can be tiresome. Movies get remade, bands reform to headline festivals, we all get excited about the prospect – but reboots rarely meet expectations. But here the nostalgia feels right, like a greatest hits album. Plus, with the popularity of online gaming and the dawn of virtual reality at home the timing just seems right for Ready Player One.