Ready Player One
Ready Player One is the kind of book you pick up and don’t put down until it’s done, at least that’s what I did. I had no idea what to expect within, other than a vague video game reference for the title. What I found, and you will find, within is an amazingly fast paced adventure story set in a trailer park of Oklahoma City in 2044, and in the OASIS.
The OASIS is a a virtual reality internet that the entire world has become addicted to by 2044. People’s whole lives are lived within The OASIS. They go to school, to work, and relax, while plugged in to a pair of virtual reality gloves and a virtual reality headset. The founder of The OASIS, James Halliday, went to great lengths to keep access to the network free. This allowed even the poorest of the poor access to education, employment, and much more.
Halliday passes away without any heirs and throws the future of The OASIS up in the air. Without any heirs large corporations are fighting to take control and monetize this global network. Predicting this, Halliday had programmed a contingency plan into the online world. A competition for control of The Oasis, and Halliday’s fortune.. A competition that only the biggest of fans could complete. The competition was announced globally when Halliday died and consisted of a few mysterious clues hidden within his final video.
Halliday grew up in the 1980s as a nerdy computer programmer. His love of the 80s was translated into the challenge he provided at his death. Every conceivable pop culture reference imaginable was crammed into this virtual reality world. At the beginning everybody in the world was searching for this treasure, but after months and months of dead ends the large majority of players have given up all hope of finding it.
The only people still searching are the large corporations trying to take over control, and a small group of people called “gunters”. One gunter is the hero of the story, Wade Watts. Wade is an extremely poor teenager growing up in a mega-trailer park on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. The Oasis is his only escape from a pitiful life. He has dedicated himself to learning everything there is to learn about James Halliday and the 80s, and finding the keys to Halliday’s treasure.
Along with a small group of his fellow gunters Wade goes through an amazing journey attempting to solve the mysterious clues left by Halliday to save the world and become wealthy beyond all imagination.
Ready Player One is an exciting story with twists and turns and a heavy dose of 80s pop culture. It seems so relevant to our modern times where people are always seeking an escape from reality in their phones and online. It’s a story about growing up, finding yourself, and the dangers of getting stuck in a virtual world. It’s a gratifying reading experience that book lovers and someone who hasn’t picked up a book in 8 years can both enjoy.
I found myself saying “This would make an amazing movie” as I read it, and it seems Hollywood did as well. Ready Player One is going to be made into a major blockbuster sometime soon, directed by an 80s superstar Stephen Spieldberg.
If you haven’t read this yet pick it up in our store here.