Ready Player One

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Ready Player One is a science fiction novel by Ernest Cline. The story takes place in 2044, where most people live, work, and play, not in the real world, but in a virtual world called the OASIS. They use virtual reality gear and haptic suits to experience the virtual world with life-like interfacing. The creator of the OASIS, an extremely wealthy eccentric videogame designer, just died and left his billions to the first person who could find an Easter egg that he left in the simulation. In order to help find it, the egg hunters (gunters), study everything about the OASIS creator, which is mostly 80s pop culture. The story follows a poor teen named Wade who is looking for the Easter egg, and the friends and competitors he meets along the way.

Review

Good

  • The inclusion of so much geek talk regarding old videogames, comic books, movies, television shows, and music was very fun and nostalgic.
  • The virtual reality world is highly detailed, and all of the awesome things of which it's capable are talked about in depth.
  • Parzival, Art3mis, and Aech are each interesting, loveable, and very human.

Bad

  • I had a lot of problems with the OASIS economic model. How could IOI afford to dump tons of money into their online army, year after year, without any progress at all? Since the Tomb of Horrors resets it's immense wealth every night, once it became common knowledge, it would collapse the economy.
  • The fact that the OASIS is the only game in town requires a large suspension of disbelief. Why wouldn't other companies make their own versions?
  • IOI and Sorrento are depicted as cartoonish villains, far too evil, even for a corporate go-getter.
  • I didn't care much for Shoto, who I found to be more of a plot-device than a character.
  • Wade's rags to riches story felt too easy.
  • Wade explains that he wrote his own 2600 Atari game as a kid, but this is actually an extremely difficult task.
  • A lot of the pop-culture was explained imperfectly. For example, the dragons in Adventure are said to be fire-breathing, but they never actually breathe fire in the game.

Ugly

  • Nothing really. The book is a very fun read.

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