Saturday, June 9, 2012
Ready Player One By Ernest Cline
Rarely do I feel the need to stay up all night reading. This happens only with a few favorites, but this has become one of them. Ready Player One is just the insider attitude and geek out that I needed. I consider myself a gamer and nerd, but I stray more to the books and movies. However, this is one alternate reality that I can support.
This book is for you if you enjoy gaming culture, the eighties, quests, or questioning reality. You will learn eighties trivia and about relics of pop culture (although I call them that because I was born too late to be an eighties kid).
The main character lives in a dystopian world where virtual reality takes precedence over real life. Most people spend their time in the OASIS which is like a vastly improved version of Second Life or the entire genre of MMOs. Of course, the creator of this vast virtual empire is a true geek himself. Obsessing over a particular decade in time, the eighties, the time of his teenage years.
So, what is a gamer to do when he has a vast fortune (billions) and no biological heir? Why he makes the ultimate gaming quest of course! From the start, we are sure that Parzival (in the real world Wade Watts) will be our hero. He shall be the one seeking to finish this quest. Of course, the entire world also has the same chance to inherit a fortune and gaming empire.
That sets off everyone to study the eighties as he leaves a video clue. All the music and games and television and movies and clothes become vastly popular again. Only it seems like no one can solve the ultimate easter egg hunt. Even though you have a good idea of the ending of this particular book; the journey is captivating. I checked this out on a whim, and spent the whole day to finish it. I couldn't put it down. I was pulling for Parzival the whole way through.
This story mixes video game danger with real world threats. There are people who would do anything for such a fortune in and out of the game. With the built in competition, I found myself reading page after page rooting for Parzival to earn more points and level up.
Not only did the book recognize some of my own favorite games and books and movies, but also changed the way I think of interacting with them. I'm rooting for certain things in the book to become reality, but I'm holding my tongue to not ruin the experience. I may have dark circles today, but a stronger sense of why I love embracing my nerd obsessions with others. Plus quite a few new things that I want to learn about. Right now, I think I want to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail one more time.