It’s a precarious position to tie the market’s riches with the success of a Spielberg movie. That seems to be the case with Ready Player One where an upcoming Stephen Spielberg epic about a double VR life in an otherwise dismal world is hoped to somehow spur on the vision of virtual reality and immersive technology to the general public.
We’ve seen this kind of thing before with the Avatar movie, though this has more of a disconnected twist. In the case of Avatar, its sheer financial success was a proof of concept for 3D entertainment and it carried some real weight that held up to scrutiny. If anyone questioned the future of 3D, all they had to do was say “yeah, but look at the oodles of money that Avatar made”. Ironically, $2.8 billion dollars later (accounting for inflation), Cameron expressed that he thought the 3D was too modest in Avatar and didn’t go far enough during the 3D Entertainment Summit several years ago.
The VR equivalent of Ready Player One isn’t even about making money in the box office to prove the value of a technology. In this case, it’s hoped that people are going to see this fantasy vision and everyone is going to say “I want that” only to be slapped with the reality of where VR and immersive technology is today. I would argue that it’s the same as showing Star Wars in hopes of selling the NASA Space Program. VR has a great reality, but come on!
I think the people who will ultimately benefit from Ready Player One are those working in the field because it delivers a vision; something to look forward to given enough time, money, and huge technological advances. For the general public; it will be a fun movie.
Ready Player One has a Rotten Tomato rating of 76% so it’s probably going to be a descent film. Let’s enjoy it for what it is and avoid creating a false dependence on such things.