Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Ready Player One—based on Ernest Cline’s eponymous New York Times Bestseller—is getting plenty of buzz at South by Southwest (SXSW) this year ahead of the film’s March 29th release. According to Warner Bros., SXSW attendees will get a chance to “immerse themselves in vivid glimpses into hero Wade Watt’s world, experience the OASIS using VIVE VR, enjoy live artist performances, and more.”
The event will take over a two-story, city block of Brazos Hall, and will run from March 9th to March 11th. There are specific operating hours for the event’s VR experiences, so make sure to check the official schedule here.
With HTC as the film’s official VR partner, VR demo stations will include a number of experiences such as an Avatar Creator, a WaveVR DJ set by the film’s star Tye Sheridan (who plays Wade Watts), and VR versions of classic arcade games and experiences inspired by the universe of Ready Player One.
SXSW is well-known for offering these sorts of giant ‘brand engagement’ events, but this is by far one of the largest to date that puts VR at its core. To deliver on the film/book’s virtual vibe, the exterior of Brazos Hall will be transformed into the Stacks, the vertical trailer park where people live. Attendees will receive an RFID wristband, and enter the venue through Wade’s van, the protagonist’s hideout, and also experience a slice of the fantastical online world of the OASIS through both VR and physical installations.
Here’s the full list of things to do:
- The RFID wristband will keep score as guests test their knowledge of ‘80s trivia, play arcade games, or look for hidden clues, to move up the Leaderboard to win fun prizes, including one grand prize per day: an HTC VIVE VR System.
- Visitors can browse at Avatar Outfitters, offering the Hot Topic “Ready Player One” Pop-Up Shop. Guests will have a chance to score officially licensed gear, including exclusive t-shirts, caps, jewelry, backpacks, collectible pins and other cool accessories, as well as fan-favorite Funko Pop! vinyl figures and Copper, Jade and Crystal key sets, and much more, all available for purchase.
- Guests can try out the “Ready Player One” Avatar Creator by VIVE to choose their new digital identity, and then send the avatar to their personal email.
- Drop into 2045’s hottest nightclub, The Distracted Globe, where infinity mirrors create the impression of being gravity-free for a cool photo op, and guests can enjoy “Ready Player One”-themed specialty cocktails.
- From the stage: ‘80s trivia happy hours and nightly artist performances, with special guest DJs and performers, including a WaveVR DJ set by Tye Sheridan, who stars in “Ready Player One”; Them Jeans; FM-84; Bird Peterson; and a special performance by a surprise guest.
- On Saturday, March 10, the SXSW Film Festival will hold its 25th Edition party, celebrating the anniversary of the film festival, at the Experience.
- On Sunday, March 11, the venue will hold a livestream, “Ready Player One” LIVE at SXSW, powered by Twitch and IMDb, hosted by Aisha Tyler and correspondent Alex Correa. The stream will be live on Twitch and IMDB and will feature some of the stars and filmmakers from “Ready Player One,” including cast members Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, Win Morisaki, Philip Zhao and Ben Mendelsohn; screenwriter Zak Penn; and author/screenwriter/co-producer Ernest Cline.