Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is a 2011 sci-fi novel about a boy named Wade Watts and his quest to complete a billionaire’s winner-take-all giveaway being held in a virtual world separate from our own. Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory combined with War Games.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: why is a retro gaming website like Jinja Bobot doing a book review? Well, I’ll just say this: if you’re a loyal Jinja Bobot reader then Ready Player One is a the must-read book of your time! Seriously, this book is amazing. So amazing, in fact, that it is going to be made into a movie that will be directed by none other than Steven Spielberg!
What makes this movie such required reading? Well, let’s see. I mean, you don’t have to, unless you’re into retro video games, geek-inspired movies, hundreds of references to 80’s pop culture, or a world set in a virtual reality MMO where players where haptic gloves and body suits so they can feel everything that happens to them.
Wade Watts spends his days living in this virtual world (OASIS) in order to escape the unfortunate reality that his parents are dead and the world is (literally) crumbling around him. And he’s not alone. So, when OASIS’s eccentric creator, James Halliday, dies and leaves his fortune to the first person who can complete his diabolical quest to find his Easter egg, the world is all in! Hoards of egg hunters (gunters) decipher clues to find the three keys that open the three gates. However, it won’t be easy. There are large clans of gunters working together including one mega-corporation called IOI that’s willing to do anything to claim the prize and take over the entire virtual universe. Still, it takes 5 years until one boy finally finds the Copper key.
That boy is Wade.
What follows is an all-consuming adventure that makes us question what reality really is. If you’re a retro gaming fan who grew up in the 80’s, you absolutely have to read this book. It’ll only take you one day to do it, too, because you won’t ever be able to put it down.
So, what do you think? Do you have what it takes to decipher the clues and complete the quest?
Three hidden keys open three secret gates
Wherein the errant will be tested for worthy traits
And those with the skill to survive these straits
Will reach The End where the prize awaits