Escaping to the OASIS with Ready Player One

One of my favorite fiction books was finally made into a movie, Ready Player One. If you’ve never read the book and your an old school gamer, read it now! It’s such a fun trip back in time with an exciting story. Of course, I thought the book was much better as it had details, characters, battles and much more nostalgic 80s-90s references. The book had so many call-backs to music, games, movies, people and other media that I couldn’t understand them all. I would often be looking up song names on Spotify or movies on Google, since I had never heard of them. Even a few Atari games that are important to the progression of the plot I had to search for.

It sounds funny, but I’m thankful to God that shortly after I finished the book, the movie was announced! I was ecstatic and looking forward to how it would be adapted. After watching it, I truly enjoyed all the small references that were placed throughout but wished they lasted longer. There were short scenes where avatars would be walking around the background as popular games like Street Fighter’s Ryu, Overwatch’s Tracer or Master Chief from Halo. If you blinked, you missed it. The last battle of the movie was intense and I felt was the highlight of the whole feature. Overall, it was a great movie but it did remind me of one important concept that was important throughout the film, escapism.

Wade playing on the OASIS software

I don’t want this to be a movie review post, so if you haven’t watched it I won’t ruin anything nor go into a lot of details. The main character, Wade Watts, spends most of his time in the virtual world called the OASIS, which is like the Occulus or other VR (virtual reality) gear we have today, but way more advanced. It’s interesting to see that even though most of the movie happens in the OASIS, the conversation that Wade has with a certain person at the end of the movie changes his way of thinking. From seeing the OASIS as a way to escape his present reality and circumstances, he sees that life has to be lived and not just in VR.

Video games have the same tendency to act as an escape. I use them to just relax or entertain myself and not think about all the things I have to do at home, outside, work, church, etc. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not avoiding what I have to do, but I need some downtime to unwind and relax. As I’m not a sports fan or watch much TV (anime doesn’t count!), then video games are my go-to for entertainment. Though just like Wade, I realized that they can’t be the only thing there is.

“Adulting” as it’s called (such an annoying term), is full of responsibilities like paying bills, organizing finances, resolving family issues, going to work, cleaning, having friends and a social life, relationships, and oh so much more! Life is much more exciting than video games, and with God it’s completely fulfilling. When I spend time with Him through worship, reading His word, or just talking with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis I feel refreshed and at peace. He is the One who keeps my life together and guides me. Even though video games are a good way to escape, just like anything, they should not be taken to an extreme. Enjoy them for what they are, but if you really want to find answers to life problems, being in God’s presence and asking Him for wisdom will give you success.

James 1:5

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

I would love to play in the OASIS and make my own character look like Crono from Chrono Trigger, or Goku, and just go wild! It’s still a game though, and can’t be the only focus of my life no matter how fun it is. Life is so much more fulfilling living in it and being a part of it, than trying to escape from it. It’s full of hardships, people who get on our last nerve, lack of resources, and other problems but they don’t outweigh the good. Our families, friends, experiences, joys, and accomplishments are more to be cherished than our bad times. I’m glad that Wade realized this at the end of the movie, and that you would as well.

Life is a journey and not a destination.

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When not conquering digital worlds in video games, he can be found reading, watching anime, listening to music writing, and just enjoying life as a geek in the city.

2 thoughts on “Escaping to the OASIS with Ready Player One

  1. I like how the movie and book both ultimately pointed at the dangers of escapism while still dwelling in loving detail on pop culture!

    1. Yup I thought it was great that the author went over the root problem and showed the dangers of it. Good stuff. I hope they make a second book or something…

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