Ready Player One, a book written by Ernest Cline, was adapted for a movie and shown on screens in 2018. Listed in Goodreads.com Best Science Fiction Novel of the 21st Century, it is become a popular Dystopian novel for both Young Adults and Adults – especially anyone that claims to be a “Child of the 80’s.”
Ready Player One also provides a great opportunity to host an 80’s themed Retro Video Game Night – either as a Library Program for Youth or a fun, interactive birthday party. Here are 5 activities to include for your Retro Event.
Test out your Retro Video Game Trivia
As an introduction or filler activity for the night, pass out the Retro Video Game Trivia worksheet and see how many answers your participants know or can guess. This may encourage heavy parental involvement as it brings back memories to some of the first popular video games.
Play Retro Video Games
A huge draw for the event is to provide the opportunity for youth to play some of the “old” video games. Utilize your library’s or school’s computer lab and bookmark ahead of time the websites that your participants can use. Make sure you test out these sites in advance on the computers you want to use to avoid not having certain programs not working because something is not downloaded that needs to be on the computer. You may also want to have log-in instructions by each computer so the parents and volunteers can assist with getting the games started.
Make a life-size Pac-Man Maze
If there is space enough to allow it, you could design your own Pac-Man Maze. You need blue painters tape to mark the floor and then have small paper plates laid out throughout the maze. Get four volunteers to serve as ghosts and one person to be PacMan. Your PacMan will walk through the maze and collect as many paper plates until the Ghosts catch up to him.
You can easily adapt the game from Youth Group Collective.
Demonstrate Rubik’s Cube strategies
Most people enjoy a magic show and watching someone quickly solve a Rubik’s Cube reminds me of magic. As an demonstration throughout your event, have someone demonstrate how quickly it can be done and then have your participants try.
Find the Easter Egg with 80’s books
Ready Player One is like a huge scavenger hunt with 80’s clues. You can create your own Scavenger Hunt with clues leading your participants to different 80’s classics. Three of the books could be If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (1985), Matilda (1988 ), and A Light in the Attic (1981).
If you need additional activities to fill the time I suggest,
- Play episodes of Growing Pains or Family Ties
- Show Wreck-It Ralph
- Lay out Coloring sheets
- Set-up board games that may be considered retro