ARTICLE by Chiara Colmegna
The Metaverse and virtual reality inspired the imaginations of writers and filmmakers. Read our review of Steven Spielberg's movie "Ready Player One".
A movie about metaverse
The metaverse is becoming such a reality that it has attracted the interest of all commercial sectors. The prospect is that of a parallel world where people can interact with each other, participate in activities, and have immersive experiences. It has been much talked about since Mark Zuckerberg announced the development of his new platform Horizon Worlds, which will also include the possibility of virtual commerce. The idea of a world other than the one we live in is not new and has been a source of inspiration and reflection for various writers and screenwriters, including Ernest Cline with his novel which Spielberg adapted in his 2018 film Ready Player One.
A reflection on the metaverse: Ready Player One
To escape from a decadent and miserable world ruled by chaos, the people of 2045 immerse themselves completely in a virtual universe created by a brilliant visionary. In this world, called Oasis, the protagonist, Wade, meets amazing friends and lives his life beyond anything possible in the real world. Wade decides to take part in a treasure hunt to win a grand prize that will lead him first to meet the love of his life and then to unravel the secret behind the Oasis.
Throughout the film, the potential and limitations of the virtual world become clear. Through the protagonist we are led to reflect on how much people need to spend more time in the real world, “because reality is real”. It is clear that the author expresses criticism of too much of all things digital, so much so that in Oasis there is a tendency toward aggression, isolation and socio-economic manipulation by those who have more power. The creator’s original idea was to build a world in which one could unleash their freedom and imagination, but the result is the prevalence of the desire for power and monetization.
It is through real relationships with his companions that Wade realizes how much he took reality for granted and that living his reality is his real challenge.
Virtual reality in the movie
The perspective depicted by Spielberg’s film is part of our present. Virtual reality viewers, platforms, and virtual currencies are already in use. Not only will we be able to have different experiences, but we will be able to buy property, furniture, and build homes. Perhaps the oasis is a metaphor for being enslaved to the digital world in our lives, but we have the opportunity to glean its full potential. At the end of the film, the protagonists decide to keep the metaverse alive but to remove that which dehumanized it.