Kay O'Connor

Why Ready Player One the Movie was a Failure in my Eyes

Strong female characters are such a huge influence to me and the world I see rising up around me. The representation is so inspiring. Working in a bookstore for years and having customers ask for recommendations from my male coworkers because my own “probably aren’t up to their standards” cuts me down.

Being the women trying to fit into a culture where women get pushed aside or criticized for menial things such as not being a true fan of something, or not belonging is actively hurtful. So that representation helps bring me back up again.

But straight white women are not the only people who deserve that honor.

Ready Player One was a book shone light on what it’s like to be a queer woman of color. H struggled with being accepted to the point where she decided to make a male avatar to help improve the ease of access to basic social rights, such as equal pay and respect, as well as just being more widely accepted. In the movie, this was completely removed.

The pivotal scene with Wade and H meeting for the first time was cut and briefly replaced with a cheap knockoff with Art3mis and H. The reason this scene was important is that it gave H the stage to express why she had disguised herself online and give a stage for an important dialogue.

© Warner Bros.

Other characters were robbed of their chance to make a stance as well. In the book, Shoto and Dijo were inseparable and both struggled with extreme depression that kept them locked in their rooms. In Japan, this is referred to as a Hikkiomori. They are people who rarely, if ever, leave their room due to overwhelming anxiety or a variety of other mental health obstacles. This was also completely removed from the movie. Instead, they made them background characters who shared no connection with no story given to them whatsoever.

My final complaint is with the casting for the movie, which clearly left something to be desired. Almost every character was described in the book as being a little chubby, slightly overweight, or having blemished skin. The classical image of someone who you would think spent most of their time playing a video game, or even just the more typical teenager. The actors that they chose were thin and flawless, aside from the strawberry birthmark that they left on Art3mis. This perpetuates the idea that people need to strive to attain the standard image of beauty and stole away the spotlight for those people who honestly look more like the average human.

The positive feedback I’ve heard is how they made Art3mis a stronger character which made Wade seem less gross in his unyielding attempt to date her. For me this wasn’t about lifting Art3mis up, it was about cleaning up the “white knight” gamer guy who had consent issues. Wade was written as being problematic because he was problematic. But the movie wiped him clean of all his issues, and in doing so stole the foundation of the marginalized communities that the book actually addressed.

Building Character Depth. Creating Odessa.

I have played many characters in my time, I have fallen in love with each and every one of them, but Odessa feels special.

I wanted to sew more of myself into her than I typically would, but still allow her to evolve independently. So when I was figuring out how she thinks, or how she acts I decided to take a trip into the past. In this day in age I am in a serious relationship and I’m neck deep in school with the goal of getting my graduate degree and a mountain of certifications. I wanted Odessa to be free to do whatever she wanted. So I took pieces of myself from when I was in my early 20’s: sassy, flirty, kind of a bitch, crazy hair colors.

From there I just went nuts. I gave her some trauma, set her up with some goals of her own, and motivation to drive her. While we are definitely separate, I relate to her a lot.

Dustin will probably be the first to tell you about how crazy in depth I tend to go with my character history and background. But I tend to keep it up my sleeve until it becomes necessary in game. It’s definitely a gamble because if the worst should happen there’s a lot the world will never know. But I’m proud of her. I very much hope she survives long enough to tell her story.

Odessa Grenadé – Level 1

Odessa Grenadé

Odessa was raised mostly by her doting father in Absalom where her father was a world renowned blacksmith. Growing up she lived a pretty charmed life. It wasn’t until she hit her teens that things went sideways. A sudden tragedy caused Odessa to flee her home and leave her old life behind. From there she made her way to a brothel where she worked for quite some time before leaving to find her own way in the world.

Odessa is first and foremost very blunt, followed closely by her fearless nature. Those combined, she often gets herself into trouble. Due to a gun misfire as a small child Odessa is Deaf in her left ear, as a result she was given a magical teddy bear named Jim as a service animal. With her cotton candy pink hair and her adorable companion it may be hard to take her seriously, but you’d be foolish not to.

Player: Kay O’Connor
Actor: Holland Roden
Alignment: Lawful Good 
Character Class: Gunslinger
Current Level: 1
Deity: Cayden Cailean
Homeland: Absalom
Race: Human

Size: Medium
Gender: Female
Age: 25
Birthday: Rova 7 4681 AR
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 135 lb
Hair: Ever changing
Eyes: Heterochromia iridum Blue (L) Green (R)
Skin: White

Character Sheet: 

Odessa Grenade – Level 1

Alignment Statement:

Charm them before you harm them.
When in doubt knock them out.
Ally blood spilled will get them killed.

Values:

Steel
Emotions and fragility should be left to those with nothing better to do. Such things do nothing but cause trouble and put people at risk.

Charm
A skill that doubles as both a defense and a weapon.

Mercy
Should be shown when circumstances call for it, but should be cast aside once the person in question has proved themselves unworthy of it.

Righteousness
This world is riddled with those who would do harm unto others. Those people should be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

 

Bonds:

  • Pipa seems to get into a lot of trouble, I need to watch her back at all times

  • Pipa’s heart is kind and true, I admire her drive to help others

  • Abraxas seems to struggle in almost any social situation, I will fix that somehow

  • Abraxas despite his struggle he is a an ally that I can rely on