Ready Player Two: The Long Road To A Sequel

By David Crow

Here’s how we ended up back in the OASIS. 

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One took the world by storm when it was published in 2011.

A love letter to 1980s pop culture, the novel imagined a future where everything old was new again.

A concept heavy on movie, video game, comic book, and other references, fan culture embraced it.

Even if the book imagined a dystopian future, its nostalgic, virtual “OASIS” was fanboy catnip.

Movie rights were sold before it was published, but many assumed copyright issues would make it unfilmable.

Yet when Steven Spielberg got involved as director, gathering various IPs became much easier.

The movie streamlined the text into even more of an ‘80s adventure yarn, and defanged some problematic aspects.

Over the years, RPO has been reevaluated as celebrating a fan culture some now view as toxic.

After Gamergate, RPO’s vision of women conforming to white male fantasies of the Reagan era has come into question.

Cline’s co-screenwriter announced to Den of Geek in 2015 the author was working on a sequel.

The follow-up sees protagonist Wade Watts on a new quest created by the late Halliday….

One involving a new technology that can cause literal brain damage to OASIS users.

Steven Spielberg apparently gave notes to Cline on early drafts of the book.

Yet the release of the book was highly secretive, with few advanced copies shared with critics.

And the press this week has largely slammed the novel for recycling the formula of the first and its uncritical nostalgia.

Natalie Zutter of Den of Geek wrote, “I’ve read Wikipedia summaries with more feeling than the beginning of this book.”