Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulletin broke in on my video feed, announcing that James Halliday had died during the night.
Get ready to get your nerd on! In particular get ready to get your 1980s pop culture, comic book, gaming nerd on. In Ready Player One Cline has given readers of a certain age (mid-30s to mid-40s) a completely satisfying, indulgent piece of nostalgia that is really fun to read. Here’s the premise. In a future time, the real world is suffering crippling energy crises and mass poverty. But the simulated world of the OASIS has evolved to be fully immersive and for many has become an alternative to living in the real world. When the creator of the OASIS dies without heirs, he designs a game to be completed in the OASIS and the winner will inherit everything. They stand not only to become wealthy beyond imagining, but the future of the OASIS will be in their hands. The nostalgia comes in because the game is based on challenges and riddles that revolve around the 1980s. Family Ties, D&D, Blade Runner, PacMan, and literally hundreds of other pop culture references are made. But there is more to the book than just these juicy tidbits. The underlying story is about the competition between independent players like the protagonist Wade and the corporate behemoths lining up resources to defeat them. And as much as it’s a David and Goliath story, it is also a story about the distinctions between living in the real and the virtual world. What do relationships, successes, and safety mean in the OASIS and how do they compare with the physical places you eat and sleep? These are real questions for me, and the topics of many discussions I have with others of my generation. This book was a really fun addition to the conversation.
Check the BPL catalog for this title: Ready Player One