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Simon Steele

Gamergate? Toxic masculinity? Ready Player One?

108 posts in this topic

12 hours ago, Aemon Stark said:

It's pretty hard to imagine anyone really caring *that* much about things from decades ago, even though I do think pop culture things like movies and TV and games have more longevity now than they once did (which is to say very select items since there's a vast amount of stuff that has been rightly forgotten). 

Eh...I think basically every piece of pop culture has at least a group of people that constantly obsess over it.  Granted, I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but I don't think it's that outlandish that a guy created something with a ton of Easter eggs calling back to all the pop culture things he loves.  

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How many people born in the 1990s or later do you know of who obsess (in 2018) about ca. 1954-1958 pop culture?

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1 hour ago, Jo498 said:

How many people born in the 1990s or later do you know of who obsess (in 2018) about ca. 1954-1958 pop culture?

How many people obsessed about 1950s pop culture in the 80s, compared to how many obsess about the 80s now?

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1 hour ago, Jo498 said:

How many people born in the 1990s or later do you know of who obsess (in 2018) about ca. 1954-1958 pop culture?

 

5 minutes ago, felice said:

How many people obsessed about 1950s pop culture in the 80s, compared to how many obsess about the 80s now?

Wow.  This thread has gotten really stupid.

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I don't know. There were certainly 1950s revival bands (there still are some) and the like and several very famous 1980s movies (above all Dirty Dancing) take place in the late 50s/early 60s. But certainly not the level of obsession we find in RPO. I also don't know how many people born after 1995 are nowadays obsessed with 80s culture. More than with 1960s fuelled by Mad Men?

It is not uncommon to wax nostalgic about the culture of one's youth. But you are still missing my point. It is one thing to engage in 1950s revival as a 40 yo in the 80s or in 1980s nostalgia *now* if you already lived in the 1980s. Certainly, people can also become fascinated with a past epoch because their parents are obsessed of the pop culture of their youth, although this is less common and less likely than the first case. But the premiss of RPO is still different from both of these cases, namely people being utterly obsessed and knowledgeable about the pop culture of their *grandparent's* generation, so one step and 2-3 decades further removed than the 1980s are now but about as distant as the 1950s are now.

As I conceded above, there is some sort of explanation given for this, namely that the creator of the 2040s VR (who grew up in the 1980s) and his VR are so important in the 2040s that the 1980s and their pop culture became far more important than 1950s are for us. But on the other hand, the RPO scenario also has a collapsed society on the one hand and a super-realistic parallel Virtual Reality, both of which are very different from the 1980s, so this would not exactly help with immersing in such a distant and rather different time.

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15 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

As I conceded above, there is some sort of explanation given for this, namely that the creator of the 2040s VR (who grew up in the 1980s) and his VR are so important in the 2040s that the 1980s and their pop culture became far more important than 1950s are for us. But on the other hand, the RPO scenario also has a collapsed society on the one hand and a super-realistic parallel Virtual Reality, both of which are very different from the 1980s, so this would not exactly help with immersing in such a distant and rather different time.

I think that's still the same hand. The movie didn't go into much detail, but I think it's a reasonable assumption that the collapsed society didn't produce much in the way of new pop culture between the 2010s and the advent of the Oasis, with people being too busy dying and suchlike. And while the VR environment might be very different from real life in the 80s, it's not the reality of the 80s that's important. The Oasis would presumably have been full of 80s-inspired stuff at launch, and it seems natural that the post-collapse kids would go wild for it in comparison to their semi-post-apocalyptic real world. A lot of them probably aren't interested in the ancient source material the way the ghunters are, just the VR versions they've grown up with.

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9 hours ago, felice said:

I think that's still the same hand. The movie didn't go into much detail, but I think it's a reasonable assumption that the collapsed society didn't produce much in the way of new pop culture between the 2010s and the advent of the Oasis, with people being too busy dying and suchlike. And while the VR environment might be very different from real life in the 80s, it's not the reality of the 80s that's important. The Oasis would presumably have been full of 80s-inspired stuff at launch, and it seems natural that the post-collapse kids would go wild for it in comparison to their semi-post-apocalyptic real world. A lot of them probably aren't interested in the ancient source material the way the ghunters are, just the VR versions they've grown up with.

And one other factor that everyone is forgetting is that in the book and movie setting, knowing and obsessing over this 80's pop culture could potentially lead you to claim the biggest prize in history, control of a trillion dollar company.    There is no comparable incentive today for a majority of people in our world to immerse themselves in 1950's culture.

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