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Ready Player One: Pop culture immersion therapy to solve all ailments

2011.. This book was published in 2011. What was I doing in 2011? I read Johnny Shaw's Dove Season (which was amazing [Review | Author Interview]).. GRRM released a book.. Some sexytime was had, as I had a kid in 2012, so that must have been good. I bet I ate food and went to work.. What is obvious is that I was out of the loop with geek culture and remained segmented to the side for the following five years.

Cue my friend V, dropping by my office and slopping Ready Player One down alongside a copy of Zombies vs Unicorns. She advises me that this tome of pop culture joy is a must read and that she never got around to Z vs U. At the time, I was heavily invested in the rabbit hole of American political news for a couple months solid and managed to put off reading this even longer.

  • Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)
  • 400 pages
  • Broadway Books
  • ISBN-10: 0307887448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307887443
My repeat delays would have disqualified me as a Gunter. Innovative Online Industries (IOI) would have the egg and the universe would not be right.

At this point there is not even much point in admitting I read it. A movie is in production (Spielberg) and a mass number of friends and acquaintances pestering me for my POV when reading was complete (insert mentions of their desire to reread).

Even inclusion of the cover image was feeling.... Redundant. So I show it side by side with a bookmark I made to keep my place as I read.

Nutshell perspective? This book was a-maz-ing. Read it.

Quick overview, very quick.

2044 is the year of the Rat according the Chinese zodiac. This is not relevant. What is important for this time frame would be the global energy shortage, the food vouchers, the rampant crime/housing crisis/unemployment.

What is important is the Oasis. Oasis is a virtual world, millions of worlds. People jacked in, living in virtual space, earning money, going to school.

The thing about the Oasis is that the reclusive creator has died and left it's vast architecture and billions as a prize. Hidden within the endless world of Oasis, a series of easter eggs have been stored. The first person to locate them will inherit it all. The news launches a new subculture of Egg Hunters (Gunters). Their bodies exist shit deep in reality, creating filth, aging, requiring sustenance. Their minds are free to wander whatever conceptual environment they want, provided they have the credits to transport their avatar there.

Protagonist Wade Watts is a teenager, raised with the Oasis, in the Oasis, in many aspects by Oasis. He was just average until the contest. After that his life had meaning, he became a Gunter, dedicating his life to the investigation of 1980's culture and scouring the Oasis for anything that will give him a leg up on the game. Toss in some murder, evil corporations, teen angst, a meter of references obscure enough to require google.

Let's drop another couple relevant pop culture calendar years into this post, just for fun.

2001, 2010, 2112...

Sourced: this book was provided to me as part of a Book Swap. Book Swapping makes me joyous and I want to sing about it. maybe this is my lead in to a YouTube internet sensation (I feel like Diary of a Wimpy Kid now)


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