Friday, September 23, 2011

Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

"Dogs and cats, living together . . . mass hysteria!"

"You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada."

Family Ties

Silver Spoons


Rush’s "2112" album

Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong

If these things mean anything to you, then Ready Player One is a must read. Ernest Cline has written his first novel and it’s a blast. The 1980s are forty years in the past, but because of one man, James Halliday, it’s the most important decade in human history. Knowledge of that decade’s movies, television shows, music, and video games is going to make someone wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.
James Halliday is the creator of the OASIS, an on-line reality that most people now spend every waking moment of their lives inhabiting. They live there as avatars, going to school, working, completing quests, defeating dragons, and falling in love, all while they sit in a chair, looking through a visor, wearing a suit that provides the tactile sensations of the virtual world they’re experiencing. The world outside the OASIS has fallen apart and the OASIS is the only world that matters anymore.
But the continued existence of that world becomes uncertain when James Halliday dies. In his will, he leaves ownership and control of the OASIS to the first person who can complete a contest; find three hidden keys that unlock three hidden gates within the OASIS and you’ll receive the OASIS along with Halliday’s immense fortune and wealth.
Ready Player One is really a lot of fun to read. Part of the fun for me was because I was a teenager during the '80s and grew up on all of the pop culture references Cline uses so well throughout the book. But you don't need to have fond memories of that decade to enjoy this book. The fate of the avatars is just as captivating as the fate of the real people behind them. And sometimes I found myself forgetting that the characters in the story weren't the real ones, but their virtual identity instead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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