Steven Spielberg’s upcoming feature Ready Player One” is based on the novel, by the same name, by Ernest Cline. The trailer, the book, and the upcoming movie are getting a lot of attention on social media for its 1980s Pop Culture references. The real reason a lot of people are starting to hate the film even before it is released likely comes from something deeper.

What if ‘Ready Player One’ about?

The story is set around 2045 in one of those future dystopias that Hollywood has been entertaining us with for the past 40 or so years. People live in trailer homes that have been stacked one on top of the other on high rises.

Resources have been depleted. No doubt the environment is pretty ratty as well. Life in the real world, in short, is pretty grim.

The horrid reality of the real world is why most people seek respite in a virtual reality world called the Oasis. In the Oasis, you can be anyone you want to be in a world populated with 1980s pop culture figures. The comparison to drug addiction as related to gaming culture is such an obvious one that it needs no further elaboration.

Why did Spielberg make this movie?

While Spielberg first became famous in the 1970s, with “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” the eighties saw his real flowering as a super film maker who shapes pop culture. Movies like "Indiana Jones" solidified his place in movie greatness.

Also, Spielberg has dabbled in future dystopian pictures before, with “AI” and “Minority Report.” A film like “Ready Player One” is Spielberg’s opportunity to make a “serious movie” and play with all of the CGI toys with which he has become so familiar.

Why the social media hate?

Disdain for all of the eighties pop culture references is just a small part of the hate that is being generated, though to be sure basing a movie on nostalgia from a bygone era can be hit or miss.

The real issue that is bugging a lot of people on social media is that the scenario in which people check out of real life to live in a virtual world hits far too close to home.

A lot of social commentary has been written about the remarkable number of adult men who have failed to launch into adulthood and are spending their 20s in their parents’ basement playing computer games.

The bad economy, dysfunctional child rearing, and feminist culture have all been cited as factors that have contributed to this culture. “Ready Player One” may be the next step and, rightly, a lot of people find it disturbing.

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