Ernest Cline‘s Ready Player One is a futuristic geek-fest that revels in the 1980’s subculture of video games, Dungeons & Dragons, comic books, science fiction (novels and films), and cartoons. If you like these things and you’re intrigued by a dystopian future where people forego reality for virtual reality, then this book is for you. The novel is fun, fast-paced, and addictive.
People in the novel log into a virtual reality called OASIS. There are thousands of worlds in the OASIS and they are created around individual’s obsessions. Imagine something immersive like from the Matrix, but not as real. Then, imagine people having avatars and leveling up like in World of Warcraft or any other RPG. Take that image a step further and picture a world where all of the games are meshed into one universe and there are few bounds. See it? If you don’t, that’s fine, because Cline certainly sees it and aptly creates it in Ready Player One.
The plot of the novel is simple. The creator of the OASIS is dead. He’s eccentric and in a Willie Wonka way turned his inheritance into a game. Whoever can decipher the puzzles, beat the levels, and find the Easter egg he’s hidden in the system will take over his company, inherit his wealth, and control the OASIS. Things get complicated when the evil, corporate telecommunications conglomerate IOI puts together a whole division committed to finding James Halliday’s Easter Egg. With the fate of the world and the virtual universe up for grabs, who will win?
Read the novel and find out. It’s an escape, you may wish to lose yourself in.