I read Ready Player One on my phone as an eBook. I tweeted my progress through my @stillawake and temporary @Bristol52 accounts and now I’m writing the review on my phone. For my geeky finale, I can upload this post to my blog from wherever I am, as soon as it’s done. This used to feel a bit impressive until I immersed myself in Ernest Cline’s world and read about the Oasis.
The Oasis is a virtual world in which you are a 3D participant once you are outfitted with the right equipment. People learn to read and write in there, make friends and live out their gaming explorations. Since the world and its environment are all but destroyed and physical life is subject to corporate control, people find that living in a virtual world is as much a necessity as it is an escape.
The creator of Oasis, James Halliday, has died and he has left one final prize to be won at the end of a gaming quest which takes place inside the immense alternate reality. The person who wins will inherit his entire fortune and the Oasis. The prize is an egg named after the surprises programmers sometimes leave in their software , called Easter eggs.
Ready Player One is about the quest for Halliday’s Easter Egg. There is a noble side to this hunt and there is its opposing side, the corporate, ruthless and soulless pursuit of the top prize for exploitation and greed.
Much of Cline’s work is an homage to 80s culture and to the solitary but virtually social world of the gaming geek. Knowledge is your greatest asset but you get nowhere without friends. All this set in a world of gaming and sci-fi.
There is a lot of exposition in this work but the pace stays steady and builds to quite a gleeful confrontation. Just as in the computer games we read about, the story gets tougher and tougher for our heroes and each big confrontation is brilliantly described. In fact, most of the books is filled with descriptions that are not too simplistic as to be tedious nor complicated enough to make it hard to picture.
Cline has achieved an incredible amount in one very accessible book. I loved it and towards the end had to force myself to put it down to get some sleep.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.Tweet