Justice for Art3mis

My boyfriend being the little gamer nerd he is dragged me to see Ready Player One. It was a decent movie (nothing like Love, Simon which I recommend everyone goes to see!), the plot was intriguing and it’s directed by Steven Spielberg. But there was one glaring error in the films plot. Spoilers ahead. The movie is set in a dystopian society, and depicts a world in which fandom is critical to survival. The development of meaningful relationships and general human interaction occurs in an online virtual world and depends on a wide-ranging knowledge of '80s popular culture. But even though the film is set in 2044, that doesn't mean gender equality is a thing yet. Because apparently it, it’s not.

The movie follows Wade (Tye Sheridan), who relies on the OASIS as a sort of escape from the abuse and poverty that he lives through in the real world. The OASIS was created by socially awkward and talented gamer, Halliday (Mark Rylance). It is its own little world, where almost everybody on earth goes to escape. It’s filled with endless possibilities, people spend money, make money, and connect with other humans. After Halliday's death, it is announced that he has hidden three challenges within the OASIS. The first person to beat the challenges and collect all three keys will become the sole proprietor of the OASIS, with the power to do anything with the framework and game.

Wade belongs to subset of gamers called “Gunters” who are all desperate to complete this challenge. To win, the players need more than just gaming skills. They must know every little thing about Halliday’s life, and the pop culture he loved in the 80s. Wade eventually attracts the attention of a female Gunter, Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), who is known as the most talented gamer around. Art3mis (pronounced like Artemis, Greek Goddess of the wilderness), reluctantly teams up with Wade and his other virtual friends Aech, Sho, and Daito, after becoming targeted by a large corporation I.O.I., who is desperate to own OASIS with the intent to commercialize it to its heart's content. This is where the plot gets murky with inequality.

Ready Player One elevates Wade as the only player, the hero, who has enough gaming skill and knowledge about fandoms to beat each of Halliday’s challenges and stop I.O.I. and to that I say “What about Art3mis?!?!” When we first meet Art3mis in the film she is without a doubt a better gamer than Wade. She’s better, faster, and stronger than him. A rock star in the OASIS and among her fellow Gunters. Despite all of this though, she is cast aside and her talents are discredited. Wade barely proves himself after being recruited into the resistance against I.O.I.. Art3mis allows herself to be caught by I.O.I., as she tells Wade he’s the only one capable of beating the final challenge (she could’ve and should’ve done it herself).

Justice for Art3mis, who’s real name is Samantha. I think I’ll stick to Lara Croft.