It was about time I read the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I’m a gamer at heart, having played games from a very young age starting from Commodore 64 and having played almost every console released since then.
Virtual reality is the new fad among gamers and tech enthusiasts, and this book (and the movie adaptation after) encapsulates what many people see as what virtual reality could be in the future.
Better than reality
In 2045, Earth has become near inhabitable due to geopolitical events, and for this reason many people decide to escape from what is considered reality into a virtual reality world called OASIS. One day, James “Anorak” Halliday’s video announcing his death is shown to the players. Within that same video he mentions that there are three hidden “Easter eggs” within the game world, and whoever collects all three of them, will gain the full access to OASIS, becoming immensely rich in the process.
This causes a massive egg hunt within the game world of OASIS, and that’s what the story is mostly about.
Wade Watts, an orphan boy from Columbus, Ohio, lives his ordinary live in a trailer park. He goes through the struggle of living every day, but where he really gets to live is when logs into OASIS with his virtual reality headset. OASIS is immediately a better place to live in than real life to him, and he’s able to fulfill his wildest dreams within the game.
During his adventure in, Wade takes part in a race, saves a girl from King Kong and goes on his own hunt to participate in the egg hunt.
Oh the references
The movie might even do a better job at showcasing all the references than the book does. The book was already based on a virtual reality world, so it was obvious we were going to see many references to games and movies with virtual reality themes to them. Wade’s car in the car race, for example, is a reference to DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the future movies.
In the movie you can see references to even more recent games (such as Overwatch).
Since I feel like the references are what most people enjoy finding these references for themselves, I’ll spare you the rest and consider them as spoilers.
I think Ready Player One is a wonderfully constructed virtual reality book, and also a good movie adaptation. I think we’ll see more books like this in the future, and who knows maybe movies too.
I just wish virtual reality was even close to what is depicted in these stories, but I guess we’ll have to wait for that to happen. Ah well, until then we have our imagination to play with at least.
You can buy the book here: Ready Player One
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