Ready Player One eReader by Ernest Cline
Click Here to Download the Book It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
Reviews The year is 2044, the various wars between nations have resulted in a world of darkness, poverty and danger. But OASIS provides the virtual world everyone escapes to. Virtual classrooms, virtual planets, avatars of your choosing, shopping malls, even virtual towns that resembled the towns in the 20th Century. And best of all, setting up an OASIS account is free. In this world enters Wade, whose avatar Parzival, goes to the OASIS public school on the planet Ludus. He has a best friend, Aech, a crush on Art3mis, and later meets Daito and Shoto, 2 Japanese avatars. The only thing they have in common is they're all avatars in OASIS, set on individual quests to earn credits that will allow them to make purchases for their online personas and level up to earn more talents and power. But OASIS was invented byJames Halliday, and upon his death, he broadcasts his will and issues a challenge to all. If anyone can find the 3 keys that will lead them through 3 Gates and they find the ultimate prize, an easter egg, that person will inherit the immense wealth accumulated by Halliday and OASIS. Needless to say this starts a race among gunters (egg hunters) who hunt individually or in clans. But there's an evil corporation, IOI, who have teams of Sixters, employees tasked with finding this Egg which will give IOI total control over OASIS, which they want to turn into a fee-based service. The hunt is made more difficult because all gunters need to understand Halliday, an eccentric recluse who loved everything about the 1980s. The entire book is filled with wonderful references to video games and arcade games popular in the 80s, books, movies, tv series and music of the 80s. Lyrics and scripts are cleverly woven into the quest. In addition, the IOI appear to stop at nothing to find the ultimate prize, even murder. But underneath all the nostalgia for the 80s, as with any good quest, our protagonist has to learn through his mistakes and about human relationships, that the online world is fantasy and that there is a real world out there that he should learn to enjoy as well.
"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline is a book written specifically for me ... or at least it feels that way. My wife asked, "So you're really reading a novel about ... playing video games?" And I answered, "Yeah. Isn't it
awesome?" The plot is very simple and easy to follow. James Halliday was a gaming genius, multi-billionaire, and creator of the multiplayer online virtual reality world called OASIS. The book opens with James' death. In his will, he announces that he has hidden an Easter Egg somewhere inside of OASIS. The first person to find the Egg will inherit his entire fortune. What follows is a mad race to find the three keys that would open the gates to find the Egg. Think "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" meets "TRON." The book also has thousands of 1980s references, which is understandable, considering that was the era during which computer gaming first became big. So, not only did I enjoy the game, but I enjoyed reliving parts of my own past. And I even felt proud for being a geek. Because of the simple prose and simple plot, the book is a very fast, enjoyable read. My only complaint is that it had to come to an end. Though, there are a few hints near the end of a sequel. Ernest is currently working on a different story called "Armada." Perhaps it will occur inside of OASIS, but we'll see when that book comes out. As I read "Ready Player One," I kept an eye out for a possible Easter Egg by Ernest himself. My not-so-diligent search came up empty, but I learned after the fact, that he did indeed put in an Easter Egg. Those who found it were led to a website where they were tasked to find three gates, and the person who finished first won a Delorean complete with a flux capacitor. Dude! I wouldn't recommend this book for younger children, as there are f-bombs (no more than 10) and a few brief adult situations mentioned, though I'm not sure why they were included. Other than that, today's kids would love this book. If you're an older geeky "kid" like me who loves video games, then this book is required reading. Pick it up today and enjoy the read.
If you grew up as a geek in the 80's you will love this book! It's so full of fun 80's culture references. It's set in 2044 and the world is a mess, most people have retreated into the Oasis - a full immersion digital world that people access through visors and special suits. The creator of the Oasis (think Steve Jobs) has died and has willed his fortune to whoever can figure out his puzzle/quest collecting 3 keys and entering 3 gates. To solve the puzzle requires a knowledge of 80s culture which he loved. The whole world is out to solve the quest, including a group of professionals and some independents. The main character is Wade, a 18 year old super hacker and lover of all things 80's. He becomes the first to find the first key and from then on he is a target. The puzzle is challenging, the danger and tension thrilling, and all the 80's references are fun. Lots to think about digital life vs. real life. A little heavy on the video games, I think this will make my husband love it. (I may actually get him to read a book) Oh and as an added bit of geek love - Wil Wheaton narrates the audio book.
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