Is “Ready Player One” Secretly “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over?”

Over the weekend I experienced nostalgia as I watched “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” for the first time in years. It was while watching that I came to a realization: “Spy Kids 3” and “Ready Player One” basically share the same plot. Since I had just finished reading “Ready Player One,” and the storyline was still prevalent in my mind, the connections (Wait..don’t they both have VR? Don’t they both have similar characters?) came easily into my conscious. Wondering if others had also made this connection, I took to the internet.

Though no articles popped up making these assumptions, a particular video did happen to show the “Spy Kids” trailer dubbed with “Ready Player One” audio. Funny. It is then that I got the brilliant idea to write down these connections for the whole world to consume. I have taken it upon myself to write down each of the similarities the two films share. Granted, these are not confirmed in any way, but it is still fun to think about. (No worries—spoilers are not ahead!)  

First off, storylines. “Ready Player One” is set in the dystopian year of 2045, and follows Wade Watts on his search for an Easter egg via a worldwide virtual reality game (known as The Oasis.) Whoever finds the egg inherits the game creator’s fortune. “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” shows protagonist Juni Cortez as he confronts a Toymaker trapped in virtual prison. The Toymaker has created a virtual reality video game titled “Game Over” and plans to trap children inside, after successfully trapping Juni’s older sister. The only way Juni can rescue her and save potential other children is by beating the game.     

Similar storylines—right? Not only are the plots similar, but both characters as classified as the ”Chosen One.” While Wade in “Ready Player One” is destined to find the egg, Juni is destined to not only rescue his sister, but save countless others. With that being said, both characters must beat an undefeated game in order to either win an egg, or recieve a sister. Not only are the characters similar, but both virtual realities are created by masterminds. While the world in “Ready Player One” is ran by James Halliday (screen name “Anorak”), “Game Over” in “Spy Kids 3” is corrupted by The Toymaker. Similar characters, similar villains

Another large similarity is the fact both stories take place in Virtual Reality gaming. Since its early invention in 1968, Virtual Reality (VR) has become more popularized in the last years. While Wade finds his VR experience more high-tech in the oasis with his fancy goggles and armor, Juni uses 3-D glasses to be transported into the game. We discover that Wade is able to purchase items and travel to different worlds with coins, while Juni has to pass a series of levels in order to travel. Both games are VR, and yet “Ready Player One” is more user-friendly and inviting.

Another similarity is teaming up. While attempting to beat the games, both characters make four friends (including love interests) who are introduced as enemies. They team up, and by doing so increase their chances of winning. While Wade teams up with his crush Art3mis and fellow teammates Aech, Daito and Shoto, Juni teams up with flirtatious friend Demetra and fellow players Arnold, Francis, and Rez. Though characters are different in name, it is clear to see that possible girlfriends and three others make for a good team.

Lastly, the funnest similarity would have to be the race sequences. In the “Ready Player One” trailer, we see characters preparing to race for what some theorize to be the copper key, a main element in finding the egg and winning. Though not confirmed, a race is still evident. In “Spy Kids 3,” however, a race definitely takes place! While on level two, each character chooses  a unique vehicle that not only allows the characters to race but to also damage other racing machines. Though we don’t know for sure what happens during the race in “Ready Player One,” we for sure see some insane racing going on as well!

With very similar storylines and features, it leaves one to wonder if “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” is secretly “Ready Player One.” This is false, of course, but it is possible that elements in “Spy Kids” inspired the “Ready Player One” book and film. It could just be a coincidence, but it is fun to think otherwise.

Story by
Cassidy Jasperson for SUU News

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