Review – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One is an 80’s geek dream.

By the year 2044 things are not going well here on planet Earth.  There are two groups of people – the ultra rich and the downtrodden poor.  Most live in stacked trailers in ghettos.  It’s not pretty.  The Oasis is their escape – a computer program where they shop, work and entertain themselves.  When the creator of the Oasis dies, he leaves an egg in the Oasis that can be found by deciphering clues based on his life and love of the 80s.  Whoever finds it first wins his fortune and control of the Oasis.  RPO is the story of Wade Watts, a young man who has devoted most of his teen years to the search.  This means a lot of 80s television, movies, music, arcade games and anything else he can get his hands on.

The story is entertaining, the characters are engaging and if you are willing to look deep enough it is a cautionary tale of where we are headed.  Cline doesn’t preach about the evils of corporate giants or the danger of becoming immersed outside of reality in a computer simulation.  But, it’s all there under the action-packed plot.

The company that runs Oasis, GSS, appears to be based on Apple with Jobs and Wozniak characters.  They seem to have good intentions but their competitors, IOI, are willing to cheat and kill to get their hands on the Oasis.

Ready Player One was a lot of fun and I loved it.  The only reason my rating is 4.5 instead of 5 is that the geek references are definitely more male friendly than female.  While I fondly remember Schoolhouse Rock, Galaga, Pac Man, Wargames, etc., I wasn’t into Dungeons and Dragons, Monty Python and some of the other things that made up a large portion of this story.

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