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  • Writer's pictureJoseph E. Reed

Ready Player One?

Ready or not...Let's play!

Soooo... I've got to tell you about this really neat experience I had a little bit ago! Where do I start?...

Okay, so I went to this Homeschooling Conference called Teach Them Diligently. It was held at Cobb Galleria Centre over 3 days this April. I went with my new best friend, Rhea Perry, of Educating For Success and helped her out with that booth and her presentations.

I was having a conversation with a new friend, Jared, at one of the booths near us. I asked him what books he was reading. He mentioned the Ready Player One science fiction novel by Ernest Cline. I recognized the title from the movie that just came out (which I haven't seen yet... so please don't spoil it!) He said the book was really really good. Highly recommended.


So, after a while, I walked around the event more and ran into this fellow in a Knight costume.

I said, "Hey! You're The Red Knight!"

He looked at me quizzically. So I proceeded to explain the Parzival story to him.

(Now YOU are looking at me quizzically!)

The Parzival story?

Yes! Let me explain...

No, there is too much. Let me sum up...

Parzival, a major character in the King Arthur stories. (Knights of the Round Table etc). He is on the quest to find the Holy Grail and at one point in his adventures he encounters The Red Knight. He fights this foe but is so equally matched that neither of them is able to prevail. But eventually, Parzival loses his weapon and is at the mercy of the Red Knight. However, in chivalry, the Red Knight is unwilling to do away with his unarmed opponent. They end up talking and discovering that they are really long lost brothers!

There's much more to the story but, (spoiler alert!) Parzival eventually gets back on his way to finding the Holy Grail and saving the Fisher King and his kingdom. ("Uncle, what ails thee?")

How do I know all this anyway?!

Honestly, I'd never heard of Parzival before a few months ago. (I guess I wasn't paying attention in school the day it was being taught. But it wasn't on the test, so its okay.) My good friend, Roy Reynolds, invited me to participate in a Heart Space and Companioning Circles retreat at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center in North Carolina. Part of the presentation was centered around the Parzival story and the power of compassion. So from that, some YouTube videos, and quick Wikipedia studies, I got a pretty good sense of the story.

What are the odds of that!?

Okay, so THEN... my audience (The Red Knight at the Medieval Times booth and his co-worker) were STILL looking quizzically at me. So they got on their laptop and Googled: Parzival. Sure enough, images of the Holy Grail and King Arthur came up.

But also appeared several things about the new movie, Ready Player One!

Whaaaat? Now, remember, I had just been talking with my friend, Jared, about Ready Player One like 15 minutes earlier.

So we clicked around and learned that Ready Player One is a retelling of the Parzival story! Instead of the Holy Grail, the characters (including one named Parzival!) are in search for a special Easter Egg.

I was like, whoa!

A very surreal moment for me. Coincidence?? Synchronicity? A message?

Maybe it's a message that I need to check out Ready Player One.

Or that I need to go to more homeschooling conferences!

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