They stay because of all the things they can be”: Avatars as Fans in a Virtual Future

Tedman, Alison (2019) They stay because of all the things they can be”: Avatars as Fans in a Virtual Future. Fantastika Journal, 3 (1). pp. 190-193. ISSN 2514-8915

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Spielberg, Steven, director. Ready Player One. Performance by Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cook, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg. Warner Bros. Pictures, Dune Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, 2018. Film. In directing the screen adaptation of Ernest Cline’s popular novel Ready Player One (2011), based on Cline’s and Zak Penn’s screenplay, Steven Spielberg creates a gamified Action Adventure that like its source positions Science Fiction (SF) and Fantasy fans as protagonists and as implied audience. As in the novel, the film’s striking features are its virtual reality environment – the OASIS – and the extensive diegetic citing of SF, Fantasy and, here, Horror. Novel and film display topical discourses of nostalgia for 1980s culture and for ‘retro’ media technology. There are clearly changes through adaptation: game tasks in the quest are replaced, emphasising action spectacle over the ability to recount 1980s film dialogue. Unsurprisingly, the film’s implied demographic is younger as evidenced by the inclusion of recent, cult game and film characters. Yet, it stands as a successful fantasy in its own right and as a crucial contribution to the body of films that depict virtual reality.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Science Fiction, Fantasy Film, Television.
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2019 10:25
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 12:17

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