Welcome to Gunters, Games, and Gold!
This is a unique challenge that I thought up several years ago while reading the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I am an avid lover of both dystopian novels and anything from the 1980s so I knew that I would love this book right from the start.
Touted as a science fiction novel set in dystopian 2045 America, the story follows one Wade Watts as he navigates the largest Easter egg hunt in history. The grand prize: complete control over OASIS, the virtual world that most everyone on earth lives, works, and adventures in. Oh, and, everything else that the creator, James Halliday, ever owned…including his billions of dollars. Which, in the poverty-stricken world, where the disparity between the wealthy and the majority of the population is immense, this isn’t just going to be a walk in the park.
It was a fantastic read. But what I wasn’t expecting was that it would quickly become one of my favorite books of all time. Not just because of the plot, or the twists and turns that it takes. The technology is fascinating and the psychology behind living your whole life in a virtual reality was something else.
What really got me though: the pop culture references. So many…often times multiple on a page. Some familiar like John Hughes teen flicks or a particular comic book series, others I recognized but had never experienced. Some were completely foreign and some I am sure that I have completely missed. There were items from science-fiction, fantasy, books, music, video games, modern culture….and that’s when the idea came to me…
What if someone tried to consume all of the references, both already experienced and new to them, in the span of say, a year? Would it be possible? Or is that just crazy? How could you make it fun and engaging?
So, the idea was born. I tried starting the project several times but just like Wade it took me meeting a particular group of people to make this possible!
We have quite the ride for you, if you are willing to follow along on the quest.
New and old experiences, one of a kind events, downloadable content, live streams, vlogs, onsite visits and so much more. All while trying to read, watch, play, and listen through everything referenced in the book.
Discussing pop culture and its permeation into our lives. How streaming services have begun creating a new world focused around digital media… innovative technology that is making parts of the book possible (haptic gloves anyone?). Has our reliance on technology helped or hindered everything from dating to social interaction? When did Star Wars get so big? And why do we fall in love with the trials and tribulations of the underdog in competitions? Did the invention of video games change the scope of pop culture? And what about the fathers (and mothers) of science-fiction?
Ernest Cline authored a dystopian novel of monumental proportions. I haven’t read another novel so chock full of amazing events, references, and victories. So, this is what I am going to do.
Starting today June 1, 2020 for 365 days until May 31, 2021 I will do everything I can to consume every reference in Ready Player One. We will see how many I can get through. This will be documented through this blog, Instagram, Twitch live streams, YouTube…and any other Social Media my team and I find to be helpful during the course of this project.
I will try and find creative and fun things to tie into the project and will document every step I take towards the challenge.
Ready Player One?