Ready Player

This week saw the release of the first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and next week sees the fifth anniversary of the publication of MetaWars.

Full disclosure, I’ve not read RPO as I didn’t want to be unduly influenced by Cline’s work as I was still writing books 3 and 4 in the MetaWars quartet.  Now that the sequence in complete, I may read it this summer.

While people tell me there are some similarities between the story-worlds (dystopian futures, people retreating into virtual reality based virtual worlds), I’m interested in what future predictions I made in MetaWars (set 30 years in the future, so ~ 2042) are already coming true.

I first started writing MetaWars in early 2010, before there was an iPad, Oculus Rift, or Snap Chat. What’s amazed me in the years following writing the manuscript and then publication two years later is how all consuming the digital sphere has become (what eventually becomes the “MetaSphere” in the books).

Everywhere I look, people are glued to their phones, engaging with virtual friends at the risk of missing out on the real world.

I recorded this 5 years ago (when I had much longer hair!!):

Social media has become so dominant that by all accounts it can swing elections.

And while still not mainstream, the rise of VR seems all but unstoppable. Hardware makers like Oculus, Samsung and Microsoft seem to be long on Virtual Reality and waiting for the content world to catch up with compelling content to be the “killer app.”  I maintain that digital social interaction, a virtual interface, will be the application that pushes VR from the development kit to the living room.

If social media like Facebook and Twitter are web 2.0 and Matthew Granger’s Metasphere is web 4.0, surely there’s a technological leap forward we’re about to live through.

If you’ve read MW, what elements of the books do you see coming true?  Comment below or tweet me at @thejeffnorton.

Over the next days and weeks, to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the first book, I’ll share your insights.



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