Ready Player One is a movie all about Easter eggs hidden in video games and pop culture in general. James Halliday (Mark Rylance), the creator of the movie’s virtual reality world, the OASIS, hid an Easter egg deep within it before he died. If the players finish a series of quests, all of them tied to both the pop culture Halliday loved as a kid and his regret over how he mistreated his best friend Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg), they get the egg and gain control of the OASIS.
In the end it comes down to (of course) a pop culture reference to director Steven Spielberg’s own movie, specifically Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Players in the “Atari Room” have to pick out Halliday’s favorite Atari game, and once they do, they have to find a secret hidden deep in the game. And believe it or not, both the game, and the Easter egg our hero Wade (Ty Sheridan) finds, is completely real.
Adventure was released in 1980 for the Atari 2600, and it was a huge step forward for video games. Created by Warren Robinett, and inspired by the text adventure game Colossal Cave Adventure, Adventure was among the first video games to have “persistent” enemies (that is, enemies that moved even when they were off-screen) and one of the first open-world games, where players were free to explore instead of stuck going in one direction. It was also the first action-adventure and fantasy console game, the granddad of The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and so many others.