It seems, more and more, that the world is becoming infatuated with alternate realities. A person can spend hours, or literally days of their life completely immersed in programs that simulate what is is like to be someone else. How much longer until the world inside of a game becomes more real than the world outside of it? In Ernest Cline's novel “Ready Player One,” he introduces a dystopian society obsessed with a virtual reality and the ways in which this obsession can unite or divide us all.
“Ready Player One” takes place in the not too distant future where civilization has become obsessed with the OASIS, a virtual world that is gradually, but surely, replacing reality. When the creator of this virtual utopia, James Halliday, dies, a contest to inherit Halliday's legendary fortune is set in motion. Players must use their knowledge of '80s Pop culture to uncover clues and solve the puzzles left behind by Halliday. Just like millions of others, teenage protagonist Wade spends almost every waking moment immersed in the OASIS, searching for the lost “Easter egg.” But Wade soon discovers the dark undersides of the OASIS and realizes that this virtual world is perhaps more real, and more dangerous, than anyone had possibly imagined.
“Ready Player One” manages to stay unique and fresh despite having a setting seen many times in science fiction before. The premise is a believable one, which is what makes the story so intriguing and thrilling. Gamers and fans of '80s pop culture will find many familiar references throughout the story and will enjoy trying to solve the puzzles with the main character using sets of obscure clues. There were times, however, when the pace of the story slowed to a crawl as Cline explained some of the more obscure references but generally the writing was smooth and easy to follow. Definitely an enjoyable read and one that can be appreciated by fans of many different genres.
Recommended for gamers and fans of '80s pop culture. You can read an excerpt of the book here.
Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction