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The Real-Life Version of the ‘Ready Player One’ Open Metaverse is Here: The Readyverse

“I was just spit balling. I was trying to imagine the coolest possible future version of the internet, and the coolest possible future version of video games and how they would evolve and become one.”

-Ernest Cline

Introducing The Readyverse

Ernest Cline’s idea of an open, interconnected metaverse was first captured in his #1 NY Times bestselling novel and then film, Ready Player One, which he was also co-screenwriter of. His idea is now coming to life with the The Readyverse, a truly interoperable metaverse leveraging web3, metaverse games and experiences, augmented reality, and VR technologies that will shift the course of entertainment and technology. Talk about manifesting!

Video of Readyverse Studios co-founders at the SXSW Studio discussing The Readyverse and Open.

“What we’re presenting here in reality, is the idea of an interconnected, digital world where all the IP, every movie you’ve ever seen, every book you’ve ever read, every real place you’ve ever visited also exists in this interconnected, sprawling virtual landscape instead of navigating the internet through a two-dimensional tiny window. It’ll become, and it has become is becoming, a three-dimensional space where all of this stuff that we love can coexist.”

Ernest Cline

This year’s SXSW panel with the Readyverse Studios team, including Ernie, Dan Farah, Aaron McDonald, and Shara Senderoff, was one of my favorite sessions (the full audio of the session is available here). It’s a glimpse into what’s on the horizon and what’s possible with an interconnected metaverse where all experiences can be accessed in one environment.

The Debut of the Metaverse Experience ‘Open’

“I never expected it to happen in reality so quickly. You know, after the book and the movie, but it’s almost like a feedback loop of a lot of people are taking inspiration from the book and from the movie. So it’s really the coolest thing ever to happen to a science fiction writer to get to be involved in helping the thing that you imagined come about is really cool.”

-Ernest Cline

They debuted the trailer of their first project ‘Open,’ a third-person battle royale experience. As described on the Readyverse website, ‘Open’ is a hero experience that “is the first genre-defining AAA metaverse gaming experience, integrating top-tier IP through Web3 tech. The multi-biome, multi-IP, multi-mode gaming experience allows for interoperability with beloved IP in a range of different formats, from simple skins to full immersive experiences.”

It incorporates ‘The Hunt’ which they discussed on stage and described on their site as “a versatile meta game playable across the internet, platforms, browsers, games, and physical locations. Players complete quests for digital and physical rewards, fostering deeper customer engagement through Readyverse Studios’ next-gen technology platform.”

This is a studio, platform, and experience to pay attention to.

The Impact of ‘Ready Player One’ on VR and the Metaverse

I first heard about the book ‘Ready Player One’ at Facebook’s 2015 F8 Developer Conference from Michael Abrash, the Chief Scientist of Meta’s Reality Labs, during his keynote. This was the F8 when they launched Oculus, and the announcement jump-started the initial wave of interest and investments in virtual reality we saw that year.

With Facebook/Meta serving as a bit of a bat signal for me, the announcement set me off on learning as much of VR as I could after that F8 in San Francisco. Following that, EVERY presentation I listened to mentioned ‘Ready Player One,’ so I read the book and LOVED it. It’s such a fun ’80s throwback and adventure ride into a possible future, that’s closer to becoming a reality than the book’s 2045 projection (hopefully without the dystopian elements!).

Sci-Fi Inspiring Reality

“So that was a lesson for me in like seeing your ideas manifested in reality but also I was very lucky that I think I was imagining something that a lot of other people were imagining at the same time. People in the actual technology sector, people like Shara and Aaron. That’s why it’s so exciting to partner up with them, to have them value my opinion on you know something that was just a fantasy for me.”

-Ernest Cline

We often hear about how sci-fi helps open up the imagination of what’s possible for the scientists and engineers building the technology, and ‘Ready Player One’ has informed and inspired much of the metaverse that we know and will experience.

The ‘Ready Player One’ World Premiere at SXSW 2018

Then, in 2018, I was lucky enough to see the world premiere of the Steven Spielberg-directed Academy Award-nominated blockbuster film adaptation at SXSW.

It was one of the most memorable film experiences being in the audience with Steven Spielberg, Ernie, and a lot of the cast and crew. What I remember most is during one of the movie’s big climatic battle scenes, the film’s sound went out…multiple times! And after one of the reboots that didn’t work, the audience filled in the sound effects in unison, a united love of the medium and in support of the film we were all watching together. Luckily, Paramount Theatre fixed the technical difficulty to the resounding cheer of all there.

The next day I got to see Ernie on stage discuss the book and film with David Baszucki, the CEO of ROBLOX. He was at peak surreal, fanboying out about getting to work with Steven Spielberg, and it was enormously infectious.   

One thing he shared both in 2018 and on stage this year is that ‘Ready Player One’ enabled another dream to come to fruition: to own a time-traveling DeLorean! Which he naturally wrote off as a business expense for his book tour!

Don’t Write Off the Metaverse

“It’s about showing people the glimpse of possibilities seen in the movie. But now, anything human beings can imagine, we’re at the precipice of being able to create. By forging a world that’s interoperable where all these standards apply, we’re making it possible. We’re laying the foundation for a world we all imagine living in. We invite everyone to help us build upon it. And when it comes to what you can create and who you can be, it’s really anything you want. It’s whatever your imagination can conjure up, it’s what someone else can craft for you to embody.”

-Ernest Cline

I admit, I wrote off the metaverse after the initial hype cycle. However, it kept coming up in interviews with Creativity Squared guests as inevitable. So, I’m back to paying attention to it, and couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store. In fact, this week’s interview that’ll be released on Thursday is with Domhnaill Hernon, EY Metaverse Lab’s Global Lead, titled “The Metaverse is Dead; Long Live the Metaverse” — subscribe to Creativity Squared as you won’t want to miss this episode!

What’s most exciting about The Readyverse is that the platform is the epitome of asset interoperability, digital ownership, decentralization, and security — the best possible version of the internet Ernie could imagine. It’s a place, similar to the fictional OASIS in ‘Ready Player One,’ where all metaverse experiences and universes, coined ‘surreal estate,’ can be interconnected in one environment where the only limitations are users’, builders’,— and brands’ imaginations.

Here’s a great video of the co-founders discussing The Readyverse too.

For more on the announcement, check out this TechCrunch article and GamesBeat article and sign up for Open’s early access which is currently being developed for PC.

TL;DR: Don’t write off the metaverse — it’s only going to get more exciting! And we’re juuuuuust scratching the surface of what’s possible!