In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone-the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the Oasis to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends-aka the High Five-are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS.
Ready Player One’s OASIS offers an exciting vision of immersive virtual reality gaming, but the film’s universe is hampered by a rule set that would likely make it a lot less fun to play than it is to watch.
OASIS is a virtual reality space filled with hundreds of worlds that encompass all sorts of gaming activities, as well as nongaming spaces for socialization and commerce. It’s more than a game; it’s a platform like Steam or Xbox Live.
Each person has an avatar with a persistent inventory of all the wealth, items, special artifacts and movie references they’ve collected over the course of their various adventures in OASIS. But they drop all their stuff, lose all their progress and must start over as a level 1 scrub if they are killed.
The same rule set governs the entire platform. Imagine if you lost your collection of Hearthstone cards whenever you died in Overwatch, and that’s basically OASIS.
Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mud), Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Bates Motel), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One–A Star Wars Story, Bloodline) and T.J. Miller (Deadpool, Silicon Valley), with Simon Pegg (the Star Trek movies, the Mission: Impossible movies) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Dunkirk).