The Stereotypes and Counter Stereotypes in the Movie “Ready Player One (2018)”

Introduction

Ready Player One is a superb 2018 science fiction movie based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel under the same title (Ready Player One). The film is produced and directed by a renowned and gifted filmmaker Steven Allan Spielberg, who is best known for his famed timeless blockbuster such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Indian Jones series among others. The film is set in a harsh futuristic (2045) epoch where most individuals use virtual reality multiplayer game software called the OASIS to flee from the desolation of the real world, the movie follows Wade Watts (the protagonist) played by Tye Sheridan, an orphaned young man and a couple of his friends who discovers clues to three concealed challenges (treasure hunt) within the OASIS game which promises the victor ownership of the OASIS. The three challenges were created by the brilliant yet eccentric founder of the OASIS James Halliday (Mark Rylance) to discern who will heir his vast wealth and the absolute control of the OASIS. In the film our protagonist races against time to complete the challenges before a larger corporate called the IOI run by the antagonist, Nolan Sorrento (Mendelsohn) can manage to do so. This paper will highlight and elaborate the stereotypes and counter stereotypes in the exquisite movie Ready Player One (2018), through the films’ characters and their characteristics/characterization.

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Stereotypes

Ready Player One (2018) has deployed an unarguable and highly noticeable use of stereotyping in the majority of its characters’ personation representation to help in creating easily digestible characters for the audience to identify them in correlation to their roles. Stereotyping in Ready Player One (2018) is portrayed in many other aspects of the film, other than characters characteristics (personality) alone, these aspects include characters race(s), characters costumes and their alliances/avatars in the OASIS. To farther explore the extent of stereotyping present in the film in-depth, this section of the paper will segment into three fore mentioned subdivisions (characters personalities, characters’ race(s) and characters’ costumes and their avatars).

Characters Personalities

James Halliday: In Ready Player One (2018), James Halliday is a nerd (an IT person) who is the creator of OASIS and director of the company “Gregarious Games”. In the film Halliday is portrayed as a typical (stereotypic) IT geek whose personality is a bit weird, shy/introvert in his social skills, Halliday’s introvert behavior is farther substantiated by his lonely childhood memories and the facts that he had only one friend (Ogden Morrow) and the fact that he failed to connect with Kira his crush.

Nolan Sorrento: Sorrento the IOI CEO is depicted as an egotistical power angry boss who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals, this is quite stereotypical in today’s society where we tend to perpetuate our beliefs of most superiors/bosses as being dominants tyrants.

Alice and Rick: Alice is the aunt to Wade (Tye Sheridan) our protagonist and Rick is her latest blunder of a boyfriend, the film lame lights her as being lady with semi-low self-esteem bound to making miss takes when it comes to men, painting her as a somehow white trash lady and Rick as her abusive significant other. Of which is stereotypical as seen in today’s societal perception of white trash people as being abusive and in bad relationships.

Character’ Race

Sho and Daito: Sho and Daito are among Wade’s friends of Asian descent. The fact that both Sho and Daito are of Asian race coupled with the datum of them both knowing karate and bowing to say hello and thank you depicts the stereotypic notion that most individuals have of the Asian race that has been and still is being cultivated by the media at large.

Characters’ Costumes and Avatars

James Halliday: Halliday is illustrated has having a poor sense of wearing style (appearance), this is in respect to how the society perceives geeks to be less fashionable, this combined with his avatar’s (Anorak: the all-knowing) appearance: which resemble one of the legendary character (Gandalf) in the movie Lord of the Rings series which highly stereotypically associated with geeks love for it.

Sho and Daito: In the OASIS, Sho’s and Daito’s avatars bear similarities to that of ancient Asian warriors, this farther facilitates the stereotyping notion of the people of the Asian race descend.

Rick: Rick, Wade’s aunt boyfriend is portrayed as being a white trash man with a macho attitude which is aligned with is overcompensating avatar to show his masculinity, this falls in line with the stereotyping of white trash men as acting overly macho.

Counter Stereotypes

Ready Player One (2018) offers unexpected and refreshing counter stereotypes that aids in creating a kink of the startling thrilling ending which sees teenage characters (the High Five: Wade, Art3mis, Aech, Daito and Sho), who mostly are customarily epitomized as feeble and in need of protection in most movies to be the heroes who save the OASIS against the influential enterprise. The film not only uses counter stereotyping to empower teenage characters to play the hero role alone but rather empowers female characters by portraying them to be brave and with tough personality coupled with fighting skills. This is made possible through Art3mis, who unlike the female characters who are usually depicted as fragile and in constant need of men’s protection in most Hollywood films, Art3min is willing to fight for what she believes in. The movie also uses counter stereotyping to paint kids as a vital and reliable supporter for helping the protagonist, this is done possible by characters such as Sho who’s just 11 years old among others in the final battle.

Conclusion

The film Ready Player One (2018) is a splendid great example of a movie that is well blended and at an equilibrium in presenting both stereotypes and counter stereotypes aspects of its characters characteristics among other aspects. The film has made use of stereotyping in the majority of its characters to create to create an easy yet precise virtual apparatus for the audience to easily identify the characters and their roles. The movie as also deployed the use of counter stereotyping which has helped in neutralizing the highly noticeable stereotypes in it, the counter stereotyping has also helped the film create a sense of twist of the unexpected. Although the film offered both sides of the coin that is stereotype and counter stereotype aspects, the stereotype aspects are quite dominant which gives the film a form of a cliché feel to most audience.

 

Reference

IMDb. (2018). Ready Player One (2018). [Online] Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1677720/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl#synopsis [Accessed 11 Dec. 2018].