Ready Player One tells the story of the future, told through the eyes of a man forced to relive the 1980s. In the future, VR has taken over. Everyone spends most of their time jacked into the Matrix, here called The Oasis. They use Virtual Reality Headsets and gloves, and the richer folks use full body systems. Our hero, however, is not a rich guy. He’s a poor schmuck who lives in a stack of trailers outside of OKC.
The creator of The Oasis dies, after becoming very rich, and he proclaims he will leave it all to the first person to complete a Quest in The Oasis. He leaves clues and tests of skill-all having to do with his childhood in the 1980s.
Having grown up in the 1970s and 80s myself, this was a fun book. It was filled to the gills with movies, TV Shows, video games, comics, and books of the era. All of these were of the uber nerd/geek variety. Everything from Saturday Morning Cartoons to Cereal Boxes to Monty Python to Schoolhouse Rock gets a nod. Video Games have the real starring role, mainly games I knew and loved, but several that I had never heard of as well. I would not have stood a chance to win the contest to find Halliday’s Easter Egg.
Wil Wheaton does a good job of reading the audiobook. This is funny in a number of spots where author Ernest Cline talks about how great Wil Wheaton was.
I liked Ready Player One a lot. It was funny and serious and created a virtual world I wouldn’t mind spending some time in. I’ve always been of the opinion that if the Matrix were made into a reality that would be the end of the human race. We all spend all our time online now, so it’s not hard to imagine spending it in a virtual reality world where you can do anything. Once that happened, who would want to spend time in the real world again? Especially since, much like the Matrix, the real world in Ready Player One pretty much sucks.
Ready Player One has a few dark moments, but for the most part, it’s an upbeat story. I hear Spielberg is supposed to be making it into a movie. It would be interesting to see what he does with it. It also inspired me to find an online version of Tempest and Joust, a couple of games I liked, but never had enough quarters to get really good at. Whoa, blast from the past.