Ready Player One at SXSW

Ready Player One is the latest movie from Steven Spielberg, based on the amazing book by Ernest Cline.

One of this year’s highlights at SXSW was the immersive experience to promote the move, Ready Player One. I secured a VIP visit to this amazing experience. Here is what I found…

Located a the Brazos Hall, on the corner of Brazos and E 4th Street in Austin, it was pretty easy to know you were in the right place. On one side of the building was this 20 foot high mural of the movie poster.

Ready Player One SXSW Poster

The front of the hall and been decked out to look like the trailer park from the book. A ‘flying bicycle’ complete with basket on the front gave you a hint of the pop culture extravaganza that was to come.

Ready Player One SXSW exterior

Before entering the building you had to sign a disclaimer and provide a few details including a username and email address. These details were placed on a wristband that would grant you access to pop quiz terminals inside.

I entered into Wade’s room, complete with pedal bike for power and ‘old school’ gadgets. Moving through into the technicolour tunnel took me through to the main floor.

The Main Floor was an open space, bathed in artificial light. The loud soundtrack thumped out 80’s and 90’s classics (Enjoy the Silence was great to hear!) as I toured the various sets and consoles. Against each wall was a room set or installation, like a wall of cassette tape or set dressing from the movie.

At the centre of the room, suspended from the ceiling, was the high score board. Your wristband gave you access to the pop quizzes. I think there was four of five different consoles with a different set of questions on each one. Answer correctly and your points would be awarded to your profile. Answer enough right and your name could be on the board. I didn’t realise until I’d fluffed two sets of questions..

Ready Player One SXSW Scoreboard

The questions reflected quests from the book. Some of them were easy enough for me (music and movie questions) but questions about historic operating systems had me at a loss.

I think the ‘VR’ experience started the following day so I didn’t get a chance to play in the Oasis. But I did get the chance to sit in a DeLorean Time Machine. Not something I had expected to do, but one heck of a tick for the bucket list!

“Roads?, Where we’re going we don’t need roads…”

 

Ready Player One opens in Theatres before Easter. Read the book first, then watch the trailer.

This was just one of the amazing events and places I saw in SXSW this year.