‘Ready Player One’ Inspired By Real-Life Atari Secret

Ready Player One Touches On Real Game Secret

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ adaptation references 80s music, movies, and video games. It also adds in some more modern references, like Master Chief and characters from Overwatch. Although most of these are references are surface level , others actually carry deeper meaning.

The story follower a group of kids hunting for a secret hidden in a virtual world called the Oasis. It was hidden by the world’s creator, James Halliday. And whoever finds the easter egg wins fame, fortune, and complete control over the online game.


But in order to reach the easter egg, the kids must overcome a series of challenges. The third and final involves playing an Atari 2600 with every game available for the console on it. However, the only game they need to play is Adventure, and they don’t need to beat it — they simply need to unlock its deep secret in the form of a hidden room that display’s the name of the game’s designer.

The real-life easter egg, created by Adventure designer Warren Robinett, is considered to be a historic moment in gaming. But he really just did it to stick it to his employer. Since Atari didn’t let designers attach their names to their games, he decided to do so in his own way.

“When I found that I was designing video games for a company that was controlled by people who were going to force me to be an anonymous contributor even though I created the entire game, Adventure, it made me mad,” Robinett said. “It was a power play and after a while of being frustrated, not enjoying being under the heel of the big money guys I had a sneaky idea which was to hide my name in the game.”

And in many ways, ‘Ready Player One’ is about how the work of game artists lives on in the work.