Nostalgia seekers and gamers alike are anxiously awaiting the release of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film, Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s science fiction novel of the same name.
The movie promises a game player’s fantasy trip, complete with the ultimate CGI experience and thrilling rides alongside some of the most revered characters like The Iron Giant and Gundam. With all of the recent talk about video games and what constitutes a true “gamer,” we jumped at the chance to get a few words on the subject from one of the stars of the forthcoming film –– none other than actress, producer, and screenwriter Lena Waithe (The Chi).
Some people believe that being a “gamer” simply means you enjoy playing video games, but the term is popularly reserved for those who eat, sleep, and breathe gaming. Like most of the world, Lena was first introduced to video games as a child by her father who sought after one of the most popular game systems ever created. “When I was a kid I was super into it,” Lena tells BallerStatus. “My dad, R.I.P., bought me and my sister the first Nintendo [NES] and we loved it. That thing came to our house and nothing was getting done –– my mom was like, ‘This is the worst thing that could ever happen.’ ”
In addition to fully submerging oneself in the video game land of make-believe, it’s assumed that a certified gamer should also be well-versed in the various systems and consoles that come with the inevitable discoveries that develop. The Master of None writer can recall trying to keep abreast with the times in any way she could. “We [my sister and I] borrowed a friend’s Nintendo 64 and, again, nothing got done. Then, I remember having Sega Genesis, which was really lit — we were playing Mortal Kombat and Sonic the Hedgehog. So, when I was a kid, I was super into it, but I’m telling you, if I was a gamer [today] all the stuff I’m doing would not get done.”
Lena admits that her competitive nature and addictive personality would turn her into a ride-or-die gamer, if she invested time in the craft as an adult. “I just get sucked in,” she insisted. “That’s why I just can’t do it cause I’d just be a hot mess.”
I’m pretty sure no one’s ready to give up projects like The Chi and Dear White People, so the Chicago native can hunt for easter eggs in an imaginative land… then again, it’s likely that the bad-ass triple threat would body it all.
Ready Player One hits theaters March 29th.