Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ready Player One Review

 by DigitaLoz

In his debut novel, Ernest Cline does not simply present a fun novel but a love letter toward geekdom. Cline, as screenwriter at its best, is known for films of the geeky variations like Fanboys. Ready Player One tells the story of a dystopian future in which oil is increasingly hard to come by, the gap between the social classes has been driven to a breaking point, and the only thing keeping people at ease is the Oasis. The Oasis is a blend between an mmorpg and a virtual reality; in some places it’s gone to fat as to replace the educational system. James Halliday, a genius game developer, is the mastermind behind Oasis. Upon his death, James leaves his multibillion dollar legacy to whomever finds an Easter egg inside Oasis; five years have passed and nobody has come close. Grunters, egg hunters, are born from this dystopian future, forever searching for Easter eggs and clues.

Apart from having a lot of fun reading Ready Player One, half the time I was scavenging through references of Joust (a decade old video game), Rush, and Earthbound; obscure allusions of Will Wheaton, Ultraman and Supaidaman were also worth googling. While the story is not too complex and there are no real surprises, it manages to get the reader rooting for these characters as they battle the big corporation and be the first to find the Easter egg. It is the classic battle between man and corporations. Ready Player One is an 80’s geek fest of epic proportions.

My only gripe with the book is that it is categorized as a YA novel, and I understand that it reads like one, yet it references are so obscure I doubt a sixteen year old might get them—supaidaman, Mechagodzilla, and Joust being the least common among casual gamers. I could not help but reminisce on playing Joust back in fourth or fifth grade in the old Macs in my school. I can only hope that those whom read this book and do not know about these mentions will go and find out for themselves.

Beyond the incredible technology driven setting, Ready Player One tugs at the hardcore gamers’ nostalgia. It is about looking back at all the things we loved when we were kids and remembering them like it is the first time. Whether one enjoyed Star Wars or Super Mario Bros., Ready Player One connects with geeks; in doing that, Ready player One immensely succeeds.

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