Thursday, March 10, 2016

Midterm

How does looking at Ready Player One highlight flaws in our current society?


Ready Player One highlights many flaws in our current society considering it is based in the future. It mostly references problems that are happening due to what has happened in today's time. We are able to see many similarities when comparing our societal problems and theirs, which shows that things haven't quite changed. For example, Ready Player One takes place mostly in the virtual world, which is greatly prevalent in today's society. In an early chapter, Wade mentions how most people only interact on OASIS and barely take part in the real world. Later on, he even admits that he sometimes forgets about the real world. He goes months without even stepping foot outside of his apartment. This may be an over exaggeration, but i wouldn't say our society today is very far off from this. Even now, people tend to spend most of their times online. Almost anything can be done online. Although we may not be able to eat online, we can already order the food to be delivered right to us, so how different is it really? Some gamers will spend days at a time plugged in and only take minimal breaks. They forego sleep because they would rather get to the next level on their game. Already, our lives take place greatly online. Most people can't even go an hour without checking social media or playing an online game of some sort. Soon enough I could see our society reflecting the one in the game.

At one point, Wade mentions that he spends most of his time in OASIS because his virtual life is better than his real life. In chapter 1, Wade says,

"Growing up as a human being on the planet Earth in the twenty-first century was a real kick in the teeth. Existentially speaking".

Since the real world is not very enjoyable, people would rather spend their time online, where they can recreate themselves and their lives. This is similar to the real-world today. When someone isn't quite enjoying their life, they end up online. Some people will even present themselves as someone else online so they can change what others see. We were able to witness how different a person can be online when we created our avatars. There were minimal rules for creating one. Even though you had to choose a gender in most, you didn't have to choose the one that you are in real life. No one was going to force you to be someone you don't want to be. You can create a life online that is 100% different from your own in the real world, similar to how Wade was able to through OASIS. Virtuality has become a part of our lives and will just grow from here on out whether we like it or not. The society in Ready Player One is a lot more similar to ours today than many want to believe. We want the life that others see to be better than reality.

Regina LaPietra

1 comment:

  1. Nice connections between RPO and our lives today, and your argument reminds me of research I've read that people who are depressed tend to spend more time on social media (generally). It was helpful for me to have Wade's voice in the form of a quote in your blog -- it helped me better connect with your points and the book/reality connection. In terms of someone choosing particular forms of their identity (or even not-identity) to reveal in their avatars, how is that different from "reality?" Don't we all choose to reveal certain parts of our identity/hide others? Is virtuality an enhancement of something we are already doing in the real world or is it something else entirely?

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