Book Review: Ready Player One. Virtual reality instills hope in poverty-stricken population.

Tiffany Yeager -Staff Writer

Right off the bat, Ready Player One goes into immersive details about the enticing gaming world that author Ernest Cline has created and the Hunt that motivates the characters of the book. Set in the year 2045, the book describes an ugly world full of poverty, starvation, depleted natural resources and only one true escape: a virtual reality simulation.

The main character is introduced as the first person to appear on a scoreboard for a huge Easter egg hunt. This hunt is a challenge created by the maker of the OASIS, James Halliday, on the day of his death. The OASIS is a huge virtual reality world containing many different sectors and planets within it. In order to play, a person must own an OASIS console, haptic gloves and a visor.

To start up a simulation in the OASIS, you have to put on the visor and gloves, power on your console and log into your personal OASIS account with your voice activated password. From there, you will appear to be at your last log out point and  go anywhere you wish, with the right amount of credits, of course.

The Hunt is essentially a chain of riddles and gaming challenges that all lead up to one giant Easter egg: Halliday’s huge fortune. His initial announcement of the Hunt described the first riddle that would lead knowledgeable gamers to the first key. However, there are three keys and three gates that must be cleared before a player can receive the egg at the end.

Each piece of the game requires a lot of knowledge and gaming skills in order to determine where a player must go within the OASIS to get a key or find a gate. It took five whole years for anyone to discover what the first riddle meant and where to go to find the first key.

The main character’s username is Parzival and that is how he is known within the gaming world. He becomes the first gamer to get his name on Halliday’s scoreboard, thus sparking everyone’s interest in the Hunt again after the long period of vacancy.

The book takes you on Parzival’s journey to find Halliday’s Easter egg. It goes into details about his real life and his plan for when he finally acquires Halliday’s huge fortune. Parzival’s real name is Wade Watts. It is revealed that he lives in a poverty-stricken trailer stack with his aunt and at least 10 other homeless people.

Things are constantly changing throughout the book and the fast pace makes you want to keep reading more. The book gives a lot of details that explain the technology that is used by the characters, as well as, a lot of information about past games, game creators and pop culture in general. Parzival is a smart kid and he has so much information stored in his brain about everything and anything Halliday could have possibly referenced throughout his hunt. The vast amount of detail makes you feel like you are a gaming genius, too.

This novel is written in a way that is easy to understand and keeps you wanting more. While it is a fairly long book, it isn’t hard to sweep through. A film adaptation of this novel is set to be released in March of 2018. This gaming world is soon to come to life and capture a large audience with its unique storyline and intriguing characters along the way.

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