Ready Player One is two hours and twenty one minutes long and contains exactly 282 references to 80's pop culture, which averages out to one middle aged white guy pointing at the screen and going "yeeeahhhh!!" every thirty seconds
In a MetaFilter thread about Ready Player Two, a comment made something click for me about Ready Player One and a lot of contemporary Geek Culture in general. Basically, it's stuff designed to cater to a certain type of Geek who not only is an obsessive and conspicuous consumer of Geek Culture Products, but also does _nothing_ with that consumption except use it as a mark of ownership. They make nothing, not even the basest of fan works. I mean, one could argue that Ready Player One is a fan work, but if it is, it's the most shallow fan work that says nothing about and does nothing with its source material. I mean, say what you want about something like "My Immortal" but at least that did something transformative with the source material.
This passage feels like ... something someone would write as an example of how ... not to write! I have never seen a more blatant depiction of the male gaze and queer fetization.
"Love is love," but only if it's able to be part of the straight male characters sexual gaze. The character's "wokeness" is directly tied into his sexual consumption of queer identity. Dude, really thinks watching porn and getting off on it makes him woke.
The fact that he, by stalking and hacking, learns that Skylar is trans and instantly thinks about that fact in relation to his sexuality, his sexual gaze, is so gross.
Hm, was just pondering the protagonist of Ready Player One and Two, who by the second book is...
- The richest person on the planet with a devoted fanbase who keep covering for him when he says and does something stupid
- Has an unhealthy fixation on pop culture, to the point where he begins inserting position to insert himself into the very products he enjoys
- Does performative acts of charity that are aimed more at improving the perception of his own brand rather than actually helping people (and what things he does either actively harm people or are comparitively useless).
- Has an interest in mind uploading while not fully seeming to understand the consequences of the tech beyond “this was in (insert science fiction movie/anime), so it must be cool!“
- Inherited his wealth, power and status from someone else.
- Uses his wealth to attach his name to the work of others, thus providing himself with an even more enormous fortune and giving himself the credit for creating said work.
- And his big project involves escaping the impending ecological and societal collapse of the Earth by packing all of his friends onto a space station and flying off into outer space.
Is... is Wade Watts cyberpunk Elon Musk? I mean, I guess Ernest Cline attempts to give the dude a redemption arc and he learns to stop being such an enormous tool and use his money and power more socially responsibly... But the dude still creates immortal cyberclones of people against their consent, and then shoots them into space like they were in the game SOMA or something.
Still, at least Wade didn’t suggest the people who’d be trapped with him on his spaceship forever have to pay him rent, which seems more of a Musk deal.
Ready Player Two will be published on November 24 via Ballantine Books. Author Ernest Cline returns to pen the sequel to his 2011 hit, Ready Player One, which Steven Spielberg adapted into a film in 2018.
Plot details for the long-gestured follow-up are being kept under wraps, but the novel is available for pre-order in hardcover ($28.99), e-book ($14.99), audiobook ($30.63), and audio CD ($45.00) via Amazon.
The WORST part of Ready Player Two is when Wade stalks and hacks a person's private info and finds out she's trans. Then he goes on about how years ago this may have made him uncomfortable but now he's watched so much porn, he's ok with trans people.
"Love is love" is nice for accepting same sex relationships, not for trans people just....existing.