[#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation

[ Editor's note: This Ready Player One activation walkthrough is brought to us by Bleeding Cool correspondent Brandon Wainerdi from SXSW.]

[#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation

Capitalizing on the hype machine that surrounded Sunday's premiere of Steven Spielberg's latest film, Ready Player One also rented out an enormous building in the heart of South by Southwest (SXSW) to build even further excitement.

[#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation

Fans were literally placed into the fabled OASIS, allowed to run around The Stacks (literally stacked trailer homes), a lifesize Iron Giant, and zero-gravity night clubs. There was a Hot Topic pop-up shop stocked to the brim with Funkos and pop-vinyl key sets, and exorbitant amount of patches made sure that fans could take some of the Ready Player One world home with them.

[#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation

Various pieces of '80s paraphernalia were scattered in corners of comfortable sofas and record players. And, then the highlight of the build-out for me especially, was a full replica of the hero DeLorean-  complete with a flux capacitor and a movie-appropriate "Parzival" license plate. I definitely did not hold up the line with photos in a variety of poses to satiate my inner 10-year-old.

[#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation [#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation [#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation

As an added bonus — my time at the activation was highlighted by surprise appearance of the full cast of The High Five. Tye Sheridan (Parzival), Olivia Cooke (Art3mis), Lena Waithe (Helen/Aech), Win Morisaki (Daito), and Philip Zhao (Shoto) held court with host Aisha Tyler (Archer) who delved into a Q&A covering everything from their auditions to their prior experience with Ernest Cline's book (spoiler: not much).

[#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation

You can read more about the LIVE event hosted by Twitch and IMDB here, which also had an appearance by Ben Mendelsohn (Nolan Sorrento), screenwriter Zak Penn, and author Ernie Cline.

[#SXSW] Walking Through the Ready Player One Activation

Upstairs, there was a real-life version of the Stacks, each mobile home housing impressive VR experiences (which, obviously, were very tough to accurately photograph). But it was a nice touch and an obvious addition to the already-impressive marketing push. The movie (spoiler free review from the world premiere during SXSW here) might not open to the general public until March 29th, but for some lucky fans in Austin this weekend, the world has already gotten its first real look at living in the OASIS.

About Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool.

Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 

Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 

Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional

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