When the film The Matrix was released in 1999, it opened up a new realm of possibilities for the future of virtual reality. It offered a world where humans were completely integrated into a virtual universe but made out that they were completely unaware of the fact. The idea at the time was, of course, fanciful and seemed like something that was merely speculative but there is a chance that this idea, hopefully not so extreme, could become reality.
Virtual reality was always discussed as something for the future but it has, since the release of the Oculus Rift goggles, been given a new lease of life, a new pathway where the technology is finally there to take this idea to the next stage of development. It was in 2011 that Palmer Luckey hacked together some sort of prototype in his garage; not bad for an 18-year-old. There are now several firms including global giants like Sony and Samsung that are developing the technology in hope that they will release a device that consumers will love.
In 2018, another movie with its roots very much in The Matrix genre will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One is set in a dystopian future where the population of earth spend nearly all their time interconnect in an online space known as OASIS. To escape the grim reality of the world in which they live the population of Earth spend their time in a virtual reality world instead. The film is set in 2045 and similar to Back to the Future II, it shows a futuristic world – but unlike the one that Marty McFly enters, the one in Real Player One is a derelict offering where the population centres of the human world have become massive slums, hence why the virtual reality of OASIS is so much more appealing.
The date of “the future” in Back to the Future II was 2015, which is now well behind us, so the idea of a VR world like the one depicted in Real Player One is perhaps not that far-fetched. It won’t be long before you will be able to do everything in a virtual reality world like play the VR lottery or go to the VR shops without leaving the comfort of your living room.
The film shows the value of an online VR space where millions of people can be interconnected and influenced by advertising and corporations. When the inventor of OASIS dies he offers ownership of the system and his wealth to the one who can find the Easter egg, a treasure hidden in the virtual reality world. The films main protagonist races to find it before an evil corporation known as IOI or risk OASIS falling into their hands.
The movie sounds like it will be a massive hit, and with Spielberg in the director’s chair, this is even more likely. The film is set for release in March so if you are not too busy in your own online world it might be well worth heading to your local cinema to give it a watch.