To Boldly Nerd…

Video games, pen&paper RPGs and other nerdery

Review: Ready Player One


Ready Player One
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is light, almost fluffy reading, but above all, it is incredibly fun reading. I think in order to fully appreciate this book the reader needs to meet one major condition: a) enjoy video games. If this condition is met, there are further conditions that can enhance the enjoyment: b) having grown up in the 80s and c) having played arcade video games. Also probably d) love old Japanese anime like Supaidaman and e)a sweeping love for anything related to SF and fantasy etc.

Lucky for me I grew up in the 80s and have played a couple arcade games, and I generally do enjoy me some video games. The story is set about 40 years ahead in the future, in a world with no oil left, where people are poor and flee into OASIS which is basically a virtual reality version of what we know as MMOs today. They go to school there, live there lives there, and level their characters to be super-powerful. When the founder of OASIS dies, he leaves behind a riddle that leads to an Easter Egg he planted in OASIS, and whoever finds it first, will inherit all of his wealth. Around the world, the hunt for the egg begins. The protagonist of Ready Player One is Wade, an 18 year old boy who lives in a trailer park in Oklahoma. In the OASIS he is known as Parzival, and he is one of thousands of ‘gunters’, short for egg hunters. When he is the first one to make any progress in the egg hunt after years of the hunt being in progress, his life spirals out of control, as he has to try to stay ahead of fellow gunters, especially Art3mis, and the evil corporation IOI who is trying to take control of the OASIS and turn it into a profit business.

It’s not a long book and it’s compelling enough to be a very fast read. I had a fantastic, enjoyable time reading it. Interestingly enough, everytime I tweeted a Goodreads update on my reading progress, people would get back to me how much they loved this book though they usually don’t read much. It’s that kind of a book. For me it’s mandatory nerd reading, just like Chuck is mandatory nerd watching for me. Thumbs up from this nerd!

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  1. Loved this book when I read it last year. It has a bit of a young adult vibe to it, and things are resolved too tidily at the end for my taste, but overall it was one of the best novels last year. Bonus points for Wil Wheaton doing the audio version.

    • I agree with the YA vibe, especially as all the protagonists are barely out of teenage age. But so much fun to read! I might have to listen to the audio book, thanks for the hint. 🙂

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