Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One may initially strike you as a far-fetched dystopian future, but to Steven Spielberg it’s a first glimpse of the inevitable.
In a fresh look at Spielberg’s upcoming film adaptation of the classic novel, the legendary director speaks of the film’s plot not just as a fantastic romantification of the technology we use today, but a very viable prediction of the future.
“There’s a dystopian society and the fabric of our economy is crumbling,” Spielberg says in the three-minute featurette. “It’s a good time to escape, so virtual reality will be a super drug.”
In both the novel and film, an overpopulated earth turns to a virtual metaverse called The Oasis in search of entertainment and fulfillment. Users put on futuristic headsets and bring their entire being into VR as a virtualized avatar. From there you can do pretty much whatever you want; meet friends, race in cars from movies and fight in cinematic war zones with robots and videogame characters.
But Ready Player One seems to have an interesting view of VR outside of the headset just as much as it does inside. Throughout the video we can see multiple types of headset from the slick ski goggle-like device worn by protagonist Wade Watts to devices that don’t look too far off from today’s mobile headsets like the Gear VR. Some users sit outside in the favela-like stacks, while others stay at home.
“I think [Ernest Cline] has seen the future before any of us could possibly imagine it,” the director concludes at the end of the clip.
Ready Player One opens on March 30th and will be accompanied by a range of VR experiences debuting on the HTC Vive.