Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Jun 16

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

I’m going to go ahead and let my geek flag fly on this one. This book is the pinnacle of all that is video game goodness. Ernest Cline (please check out his website, the way it is set up is glorious) creates an epic dystopian novel for all of us nerds.

In 2044, our fair planet is in quite the state. There’s an energy crisis, folks are hungry and jobless, and the outlook is pretty bleak. The only bright spot is OASIS: a free virtual reality that gives people stability in a world gone mad. On the eve of creator’s James Halliday’s death, an announcement is made that shocks the world. It seems that Mr. Halliday, a reclusive billionaire, hid an “Easter Egg” inside of OASIS. If anyone can beat his game within a game and discover the egg, Halliday’s entire fortune, and the rights to OASIS, will pass on to that smart soul.

The main character is a very likable high school senior named Wade. Wade had always immersed himself in the OASIS, as his own life was a sad one indeed. A quest for the ages ensues. With billions on the line, of course there are bad guys and major trust issues. There are shades of The Hunger Games, but Ready Player One is all about 80s references, robots, cartoons, and above all, video games.

The virtual reality described completely blew my mind. My favorite part? Virtual schools. No bullying, because if someone started talking smack, you could mute them. No physical altercations, because schools are housed in no combat zones. And the teachers? They can actually teach. No interruptions, no problems, and if there are any, you immediately get the boot. Game over, Mr. Rude. Virtual field trips on the daily tip. Fantastic. Oh, and you can look like whatever atavar you choose. So there goes any racism or sexism or ageism; you get to know a person’s mind before you ever meet them.

Steven Spielberg has created the movie version. I am counting down the days until it comes up next year. Also, as an added bonus, this one clocks in at Book #50 of 2017.


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