Ready Player One by Ernest Cline depicts a virtual world (in the not too distant future) where you can be anyone or anything, but that which was popular in the 1980s are most prevalent due to the death of the eccentric man who created the ability to have this virtual world and his bequeathal of a quest upon the world’s population to find the Easter egg that secures them his fortune.
Wade Watts has spent the last five years of his life like many others across the world, as an egg hunter, a.k.a. gunter. Searching for the Easter egg that OASIS creator James Halliday hid within the simulated world, it takes an immense knowledge of movie, music, video game, and personal references to Halliday’s live during the 1980s to have a shot at finding the egg that would make all your financial troubles a thing of the past. After Wade happens to solve the first clue, his avatar instantly becomes a target of other gunters, as well as the IOI corporation that’s seeking to find the egg and gain control over the OASIS. To survive the threats, Wade needs to win the competition, but it’s much more involved than anticipated.
Video games – check. Wonderful 80s references – check. This book is essentially an excuse to have a geeking out session, which I’m totally OK with. The narrative had a few too many plot contrivances for my personal preference, but it was otherwise well written and the world was vividly developed. I found myself continually making connections back to Neuromancer with the aspect of “jacking in” to a virtual world, and I appreciated that the book was also referenced within the text (among the other abundant 80s pop culture references).
Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.