I don’t think I’ve ever connected with a work of fiction on such a personal level as I have with Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One
Before we begin, a little background about me to get a sense of perspective. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and have played video games and PC games at really young age. I enjoyed early PC games and still do! I use dosbox, a dos emulator, to play classic computer games from the early 90s such as Dune 2 (1992), Syndicate (1993), Wolfenstein 3D (1993), and Warlords (1990). This was a time when you had to type in commands in dos to get a game to run. I’d play these games and other games on my classic Nintendo such as the Legend of Zelda, Dr. Mario, Gradius, and Excitebike for hours and hours. I used to save up allowance and birthday money from relatives to buy these games at a local video rental store who sold and bought used games (pre gamestop and even blockbuster I think), mostly for $10 – $20 which was a lot of money for a kid who didn’t have much money! Anyways when I got older I got into the newer games such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein and eventually a game that almost ruined my life – World of Warcraft (but that’s a story for another time).
So when I started readying Ready Player One, a flood of nostalgia just came back to me. I wish this book was written when I was growing up. I could relate to the main character Wade Owen Watts on a deeply personal level.
A Brief Synopsis (which is basically a synopsis of a synopsis) If You Will
Wade’s an outcast in a bleak dystopian future where everyone is connected by a VR game. The creator of this game died some years back, but in his last will and testimony set out a contest that would change the game dynamics for ever. The contest revolves around Easter Eggs (things hidden within the game intentionally placed there by the game creator), and 3 Keys and 3 Gates. Whoever gets the 3 Keys and unlocks the 3 gates will win the massive fortune the game developer – James Halliday – left behind (which includes controlling ownership of the game itself, which in this story practically runs the world economy). There’s an evil corporation that’s after this prize as well as Wade and his friends. Hi-jinks, hilarity, and drama ensue and you get to join Wade as he quests to find the hidden keys and gates. This book happens to be a tribute to the 80s and is packed with so many 80s references that if you blink you might miss one.
I got this book from a Loot Crate (which regrettably I’m no longer subscribed to), Loot Crate is one of those subscription based services that send you Nerdy chachkis, swag and shirts for a monthly fee. I proceed to buy the audio book when it came out (it’s narrated by Wil Wheaton – who happens to be a character in the book – very meta). The audio book is just as good as Wil actually gets (truly understands) the nostalgia and the tone of the book.
Anyways I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars… oh and if it’s any indication it’s that good – Spielberg- yeah THE Steven Spielberg – (E.T., Jaws, Jurrasic World, Indiana Jones, etc…) he’s directing the movie set to come out in March 30th of 2018. Needless to say, I’m excited to see it. The trailer is below!
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