I watched ‘Ready Player One’ on a long flight across the United States to see some extended family in California some time ago and I was actually surprised. It was surprisingly decent film putting the lead character Wade Watts – played by Tye Sheridan – in a dystopian world where virtual reality has become the ultimate form of escapism in the form of multi-game MMORPG called OASIS.
We see that society – represented by the slum called ‘the stacks’ in Columbus, Ohio - has all but broken down as a result of this online addiction and mass escapism into the net with the focus of most people’s waking hours being either living in the virtual reality of the net or trying to make money to live/buy more products – delivered by poorly disguised Amazon drones no less – so they can have more fun in the virtual world than the physical world.
Despite some obvious banal insertions like an evil pseudo-fascist corporation named ‘Innovative Online Industries’ (IOI for short) that traps people in debt slavery, demands their labour to ‘pay off their debt’ and promptly works them to death. The film is actually a decent commentary on the nature of society and the alienation and anomie that escapism to virtual reality can bring.
Put simply the addiction to the virtual world leads to alienation of individual of the same society from one another and more specifically – although the film does not suggest as much – the breaking down of loyalty to traditional biological groups (i.e. the races) as well as ideologies by inculcating an extreme form of egocentric hedonism that keeps individual isolated from one another even among families (as referenced many times through the film).
It leads to anomie (i.e. boredom/helpless) by the virtue of said hedonistic isolationism since the only way that one can continue to function in this atomized libertarian dystopia is to continue to try and find satisfaction in the virtual world of the net.
This has obvious applicability to our current situation with Western people becoming increasingly alienated from one another and losing the valuable skills that come with real life interaction with other people and the understanding the causal link between actions and consequences.
We need to change this because with this trend continuing and becoming more pronounced by the day. Our ability to reach and enlighten our folk grows more and more difficult and unless we reverse this trend then it will also fed into the ever collapsing birth rates among White people around the world.
The film offers a vison of our future – albeit an extreme one – that is quite frankly scary and can only be addressed by a return to the values of our ancestors. To live in accord with – rather than in opposition to – nature, to have a healthy relationship with technology (i.e. to use it as a tool to shape the world rather than to escape it), to focus on building up our bodies and minds not developing our online avatar and to live as lively and vibrant folk communities not as atomized and rootless cosmopolitan individuals.
If we don’t do this then our people will perish from the earth to become nothing more than a much derided but secretly mourned memory among the human beings on planet earth.
You have a choice.
You either live in such a way that you will be remembered with love and honour for millennia to come as Achilles and Leonidas did or you will become another forgotten failure who could have amounted to something but was ‘too busy’ and far too comfortable to do anything other than sit in front of his PlayStation playing the latest edition of ‘Call of Duty’.
Make your choice.