Ready Player Two
News from Los Angeles Year 2028
The anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Ready Player One is coming in a few days. What better time than to write about Storyworld — the multiverse creation platform this movie spawned some 10 years ago — way back in 2018.
For those of you not familiar with it’s history, Ready Player One, was one of the films which helped jumpstart a global tipping point known as the Creative Renaissance.
Steve Jobs had started the surge with easy to use creation software, but it wasn’t until the concept of “content scaffolding” came around, did the movement really take off.
Ready Player Two was one of the first attempts to open the storyworld up to creators and let the end users play and add content in the world of the story.
Around 2019, large franchises (think Star Wars, Matrix, Blade Runner and Star Trek) realized that they needed to adapt or perish. Not only did more and more people want to be immersed, the people no longer wanted to just watch.
It turned out to be a match made in heaven. The studios provided people with free high quality 3D assets, music, and creation tools to write the back stories. All finished experiments were submitted as “portals” into the storyworld with HTC sorting out the interoperability in the menu.
Anyone could create alternative storyline experiences. Some simply made maps for the growing content hidden in the stacks. People could climb around and explore worlds. It was basically a 3D menu on steroids.
Ernest Cline’s storyworld in Ready Player One has both a physical side to it and also a virtual side to it. This “multiple dimensional reality” was what captivated people about the story — but it sure was a foreign concept for most all of us back in 2018. How could reality have two sides?
But this multiple reality perspective and it’s paradox was wherein lie the beauty. You never knew when you entered a trailer what language you would encounter, or from where in the world the story originated. However, all the stories had one thing in common — they were all happening on the same timeline in 2045, in the trailer stacks, in the incredible storyworld of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.
The net result. Spectacular. This was all the people needed. The ability to use common storyworlds, lore, basic archetypes and common cultural artifacts to play and recreate. Watching people remix the stories showed us all of the possibilities within.
“People had fun. It was like watching the hive mind thrive in a million directions at once.” said T.J. Rosencranz, one of the original citizens of the storyworld. “In some trailers you would stumble upon people co-working from four different continents, other trailers had people playing beautiful, but sometimes strange, music compositions”.
P.T. Guildenstern claimed, “Once I walked in one trailer where it just said “Anger Management Decompression” on the door. It was an experience that let you break everything in the trailer in slow motion. Another time I found a couple discussing the messages of the ancient hieroglyphics and something called the Hermetic principles. You could find anything in those stacks.”
Three major story branches emerged from this initial experiment: the concurrent stories in the trailer stack, a real world and virtual lab called “Columbus” (which allowed people to research and test new haptic suit technology) and of course the full blown public school planet called Ludus.
Make sure you log in this weekend for the Ready Play Two anniversary celebrations. No expense has been spared.
Zenka is an independent historian with a specialty in the multiverse. She lives in Los Angeles, and works giving tours of the multiverse. She has over 700,000 hours of time travel logged.
Ludus 2.0 Was Breathtaking
2025 saw the online birth of question based, heart lead, free education. It was forged through a powerful collaboration between everyday people, their passions and curiosities and the great innovators of that decade like the Khan Academy, Google Expeditions, MIT OpenCourseWare, Wikipedia, and StoryCorps.
The public finally had specific software to do more than create word docs and save photos. Curious people essentially were given a virtual reality notebook to track their explorations.
Legal Copy Paste
Experts have said, the reason the open Storyworld project took off was because there was a cookie cutter copy paste legal agreement agreed upon by both sides (the studios and the creator community).
The rules of the arrangement were respected. They worked like this: crowd creators could use 3D set assets already created by the studios, they could also reference and talk about the characters in the main story, but they could not animate or continue the stories of any of the characters.
Most studios did start to bring main characters into the other home brewed experiences which always caused lots of excitement!
Ready Player Two
Ernest Cline, eventually did write a book sequel to Ready Player One — which he called Ready Player Two, but it was simply a continuation of this world from his creative mind in another timeline.
Project Artifact from 2017
The original call to the studios to create the RPO multiverse:
Disclaimer: This article was written from the past about the future. Join the Multiverse Tour Guide Association if you remember events from 2018–2028.