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The [Ready Player One] Quarantine Thread

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  • WyvernWyvern Registered User regular
    Cantide wrote: »
    Few things are more universal than a Monty Python quote. It cuts across language barriers in a lot of ways.

    I... I can’t even begin to approach how wrong this statement is. I’m done. Ernie broke me.
    It's popular in America, and it's popular in England! That's all of the countries! How much more multicultural can you get?

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  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    It is hard to make a story about resistance to corporations when the writer really, really loves references to corporate produced works.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/game-of-drones-ernest-cline-on-nerd-gasmic-new-novel-armada-20150715
    That was the crazy thing about the success of Ready: They say to write what you'd want to read. And I wanted to read a book in which everybody lived in the same universe that I did — they'd seen the same movies, read the same books, played the same roleplaying games, all of that. You watch your average zombie-apocalypse movie, and none of the characters have ever seen a zombie-apocalypse movie. I love it when character refer to same songs I know because I feel like I'm part of their world. I'm really just trying to please myself; the fact that other people, much less people in other countries, seem to share the same obsessions in their fiction kind of stunned me.

    Yeah. We know

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  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    (note that this is more about the book than the movie, which does its best to salvage or soften some of the worst)


    Ernest Cline has created (I'd say "for himself", but as we've seen ever since a certain story/scandal blew up, he's not alone or unique, distressingly so) a fantasy world within a fantasy world in which someone just like him - a white male nerd who grew up in the United States in the 1980s - is the most powerful and influential man on the planet, even years after his death; where millions of people and dollars and hours - an entire industry - are devoted to obsessively studying every detail of his life, his hobbies and habits and interests and neuroses, because that represents the path to effectively unlimited wealth and power - to (in an unusually literal sense) virtual godhood. It's a 385-page tribute/paean/monument to himself and his chosen clade, The Triumph of the Geek. I cannot imagine anything more blatantly self-indulgent, narcissistic and masturbatory short of Trump ... sorry, of Cline doing the talk-show circuit in an open gold robe, dick in Power-Gloved hand, while giving breathless summaries of Transformers episodes and his own self-insert crossover fanfic.

    But as perverse and horrifying as that image is, it can't hold a candle to the 2040s of RP1: a crapsack world held in thrall to the exhumed and reanimated corpse of a decade that ended sixty years before. Bad enough that Cline and I had to grow up surrounded by Boomer nostalgia for the 50s and 60s; he had to go even further, to the point where I must now consider (and recoil from) the notion of his and my beloved 80s slavishly dedicated to repeating the 1920s (Prohibition and all), allowed no new, original culture of our own.

    And in that paragraph is the strangest, most ironic thing of all: Cline and I are of the same times, the same culture, cut (in theory at least) from the same cloth or mold. I too have been known to immerse myself and wallow in my fandoms, my in-jokes, my trivia, my nostalgia. Perhaps it's that I see here my own worst urges... a failure mode, a critical failure to examine my own likes and dislikes and blind spots critically. It's lazy and it's dismissive of all experience but my (our) own... that there could have been anything worthwhile said, or created, or learned since he (and I) graduated from high school ~ 30 years ago. Those were good times - and bad, too - but I can't, and shouldn't want to, live in them forever. And I definitely shouldn't put them up on a pedestal for the next generation, expecting them to "get" them the way I did, because they won't. And that's fine, and healthy. That's how we move forward.

    Commander Zoom on
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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    Hobnail wrote: »
    sarukun wrote: »
    Nothing sucks worse than having to patiently explain to every white male nerd friend that other music existed during the years between 1970 and 1990 besides men playing guitars, and also that people listened to it.

    You mean like a pan flute or somethin
    Hobnail wrote: »
    sarukun wrote: »
    Nothing sucks worse than having to patiently explain to every white male nerd friend that other music existed during the years between 1970 and 1990 besides men playing guitars, and also that people listened to it.

    You mean like a pan flute or somethin

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  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Wait

    Wasn't there a whole Monty Python skit about how humor and jokes have trouble cutting across language barriers?

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  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    also:
    I would pay good money to watch Ernest Cline, 80s Trivia Master, utterly bomb a pop quiz (no googling!) about any aspect of 80s culture that wasn't male white nerdery. Jem and She-Ra and My Little Pony, say, or questions about blacks besides Michael Jackson, or the (Plague-ravaged) gay experience of the era...

    Commander Zoom on
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  • ZxerolZxerol for the smaller pieces, my shovel wouldn't do so i took off my boot and used my shoeRegistered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Wait

    Wasn't there a whole Monty Python skit about how humor and jokes have trouble cutting across language barriers?

    I kind of want see a list of how the name "Biggus Dickus" is localized in various regions.

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  • UnbrokenEvaUnbrokenEva HIGH ON THE WIRE BUT I WON'T TRIP ITRegistered User regular
    Zxerol wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Wait

    Wasn't there a whole Monty Python skit about how humor and jokes have trouble cutting across language barriers?

    I kind of want see a list of how the name "Biggus Dickus" is localized in various regions.

    why, is there something funny about the name "Biggus Dickus"?

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  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Zxerol wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Wait

    Wasn't there a whole Monty Python skit about how humor and jokes have trouble cutting across language barriers?

    I kind of want see a list of how the name "Biggus Dickus" is localized in various regions.

    My Dad has a book about building model train layouts (one of many, actually), and a fake hand-painted sign on a lumber yard in the layout featured on the cover advertises for Ivor Bygunne's lumber delivery truck service.

  • Andy JoeAndy Joe We claim the land for the highlord! The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    Saw this yesterday. The action was all really good, the opening view of the Oasis was particularly amazing.

    As for the story:
    I'll echo everyone else in saying that just having the references appear rather than being laboriously described makes them much more bearable, and there were only a couple instances of irksome trivia showboating now that we don't get Wade's internal monologue constantly.

    Making the Egg hunt clues all about Halliday's regrets over losing his real-world connections gave some actual weight to the final moral.

    Changing the IOI infiltration from Wade's false identity scheme to Art3mis getting captured but then escaping is such a brilliant change. Gives Art3mis more to do, seems more plausible, takes much less time to convey to the audience.

    I got to see Mechagodzilla vs. the RX-78 and the Iron Giant in top-quality CGI, so I can't hate this movie too much.

    Random aside: IOI sure stays on brand at all times, huh? Their logo's the basis of the shape of their HQ building, and is even prominently displayed on their in-game armored vehicles.

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  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    also:
    I would pay good money to watch Ernest Cline, 80s Trivia Master, utterly bomb a pop quiz (no googling!) about any aspect of 80s culture that wasn't male white nerdery. Jem and She-Ra and My Little Pony, say, or questions about blacks besides Michael Jackson, or the (Plague-ravaged) gay experience of the era...

    Does he claim to be an 80's trivia master or is this just being inferred from the book/movie?

  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    It sometimes feels like people are hating on the story a little harder than it deserves.

    It's not supposed to be a thoughtful, realistic, or comprehensive examination of the 80's.

    It's just a bit of self indulgent wish-fulfillment fiction.

    RT800 on
  • MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    The problem isn't that it's wish-fulfillment its that it's bad.

    My biggest complaint about the book will always be that there is no way a game built like the one they described would be that popular. There isn't anything to the game that isn't a mishmash of every other game combined into one and it has no idea of how free 2 play games work and monetize themselves. Travel wouldn't be that expensive in a game because there is no reason for it to be. You want people to go everywhere and see the stuff they need to spend money to get and level up faster.

  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    My understanding of the OASIS was that it was more analogous to the internet than an MMO.

    People play games, but it's far from the only thing they do there.
    Which is why the whole "We decided to shut it down on Tuesdays and Thursdays" thing at the end of the movie was so mind-bogglingly stupid.

    RT800 on
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  • MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    It evolves into more than a game, but I'm sure that's how it starts.

    I'm not going to read it again to find out though.

  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    My understanding of the OASIS was that it was more analogous to the internet than an MMO.

    People play games, but it's far from the only thing they do there.
    Which is why the whole "We decided to shut it down on Tuesdays and Thursdays" thing at the end of the movie was so mind-bogglingly stupid.
    In the movie, it is just a game. There is no mention whatsoever of anything non-game there (the closest, I think, was "virtual vacations"). No actual business gets conducted there.

    Of course, that makes the premise a whole let less interesting but oh well.

  • MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    I just saw this by myself since my wife is at a concert and I had nothing else to do in hollywood but go see a movie, right?

    It was waaaaay better than I had expected. I've never read the book and now that I'm reading the thread I'm thinking maybe skip it?

    UnbrokenEvajkylefulton
  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    Yes, the book is very OK even if you don't have all the problems mentioned here with it. So you're not missing much.

  • Penguin IncarnatePenguin Incarnate King of Kafiristan Registered User regular
  • PeccaviPeccavi Registered User regular
    Cantide wrote: »
    Few things are more universal than a Monty Python quote. It cuts across language barriers in a lot of ways.

    I... I can’t even begin to approach how wrong this statement is. I’m done. Ernie broke me.

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  • UnbrokenEvaUnbrokenEva HIGH ON THE WIRE BUT I WON'T TRIP ITRegistered User regular
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    I just saw this by myself since my wife is at a concert and I had nothing else to do in hollywood but go see a movie, right?

    It was waaaaay better than I had expected. I've never read the book and now that I'm reading the thread I'm thinking maybe skip it?

    I've just been listening to the podcast Mike Nelson (MST3K/Rifftrax) and one of the Rifftrax writers have been doing as a sort of podcast book club for Cline's works and that's as close to reading them as I think I need to get.

    At first I thought Cline's works were inspiring in the sense of "if this guy can be a successful writer, anyone can", but now it just feels like an example of how low the bar is set for mediocre white dudes.

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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    It sometimes feels like people are hating on the story a little harder than it deserves.

    It's not supposed to be a thoughtful, realistic, or comprehensive examination of the 80's.

    It's just a bit of self indulgent wish-fulfillment fiction.
    Thing about wish-fulfillment fiction is, that it can reinforce pre existing bad habits.
    And the people the book and movie seem to be aimed at have a ton of pre existing bad habits.

    Haven't read the book or seen the movie, so can't say if it is good or bad, but being merely self indulgent wish-fulfillment fiction is no defense.

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    Being wish fulfillment doesn't make it less important for a work to not be racist, sexist, etc. If anything, it makes it more important because the wish fulfillment fantasy relies on the point of view character being an audience stand in rather than a really messy person with issues like sexism, racism, etc. Nothing about wish fulfillment requires things like two Asian characters that are stereotypes.

    https://www.themarysue.com/ready-player-one-tokenizing/
    The story’s main character is a 20-year-old white guy named Wade. His best friend is a white guy, his love interest is a white woman, and his hero, the creator of the contest the book is centered on, is a white guy. Later, he meets a pair of leading competitors who are Japanese men.

    The representation of Japanese culture made me … uncomfortable:

    “‘The Sixers have no honor,’ Shoto said, scowling.”

    “Daito nudged his younger brother, and they both faced me and bowed. ‘You were the first to find the tomb’s hiding place, so we owe you our gratitude for leading us to it.'”

    “‘Parzival-san,’ he said, bowing low.”

    “He sat seiza-style, folding his legs under his thighs.”

    And, after one of them was reported to have jumped off a roof:

    “‘No,’ Shoto said. ‘Daito did not commit seppuku.'”
    Seppuku does not work that way!

    Couscous on
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  • CorporateLogoCorporateLogo The toilet knows how I feelRegistered User regular
    Parzival-sama

    Do not have a cow, mortal.

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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Being wish fulfillment doesn't make it less important for a work to not be racist, sexist, etc. If anything, it makes it more important because the wish fulfillment fantasy relies on the point of view character being an audience stand in rather than a really messy person with issues like sexism, racism, etc. Nothing about wish fulfillment requires things like two Asian characters that are stereotypes.

    https://www.themarysue.com/ready-player-one-tokenizing/
    The story’s main character is a 20-year-old white guy named Wade. His best friend is a white guy, his love interest is a white woman, and his hero, the creator of the contest the book is centered on, is a white guy. Later, he meets a pair of leading competitors who are Japanese men.

    The representation of Japanese culture made me … uncomfortable:

    “‘The Sixers have no honor,’ Shoto said, scowling.”

    “Daito nudged his younger brother, and they both faced me and bowed. ‘You were the first to find the tomb’s hiding place, so we owe you our gratitude for leading us to it.'”

    “‘Parzival-san,’ he said, bowing low.”

    “He sat seiza-style, folding his legs under his thighs.”

    And, after one of them was reported to have jumped off a roof:

    “‘No,’ Shoto said. ‘Daito did not commit seppuku.'”
    Seppuku does not work that way!

    Oh bloody hell...
    /facepalm

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  • HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    Ernest Abroad would be a fun show I bet

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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    You know, i don't say this often.
    But somebody needs to watch an anime.

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  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    Hobnail wrote: »
    Ernest Abroad would be a fun show I bet

    I dunno, it didn't go very well last time
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Fucking seriously, Monty Python depends on English, and is also super British.

  • Rorshach KringleRorshach Kringle that crustache life Registered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    You know, i don't say this often.
    But somebody needs to watch an anime.

    no one needs to watch anime

    6vjsgrerts6r.png

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  • darunia106darunia106 J-bob in games Death MountainRegistered User regular
    We choose to watch anime.

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  • Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to. Philosophy: Stoicism. Politics: Democratic SocialistRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    We didn't choose this anime life, this anime life chose us.

    Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but dies in the process.
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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    Anime is not like getting jumped into a gang Munkus.

  • miscellaneousinsanitymiscellaneousinsanity grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, i hurt peopleRegistered User regular
    there's no getting out of the anime life

    there's no getting out

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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    Yes there is, I lived in Japan and watched virtually no anime the whole time I was there.

  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Given that, would you really call that living in Japan, then?

    Anime watchers posit "no".

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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    I think all the Japanese people in the town I lived in might say “yes”, though.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    What would Japanese know about living in Japan

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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    There is a difference between being and living.

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Yeah guys I agree anime is super important we should have a thread why don't one of you make one?

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