Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I received my copy of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline in the February Loot Crate. I didn’t know much about the book or the author. I read the sales copy but I wasn’t excited to read it. I read an article about Steven Spielberg being tapped to direct a movie adaptation, so I decided to give it a read.

Ready Player One is a science fiction novel written by Ernest Cline, set in the year 2044. The world is overpopulated, going through an energy crisis and dealing with wide spread poverty. The population escapes this reality by going into a virtual one called “OASIS” (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation). The OASIS is a hyper realistic open world game where people can go on quests, work, and even attend school. At the beginning of the book one of the creators of OASIS,billionaire James Halliday, dies and leaves his estate to the first person to find the virtual easter egg he has hidden somewhere in OASIS. In his announcement video, Halliday uses many 80’s pop culture references which people interpret as clues. This leads to a resurgence in everything 80’s, from video games to music and movies.

 The narrator of the book is Wade Watts, a high school student and full time egg hunter (gunter). He dreams of finding Halliday’s egg and escaping his life of poverty. He is well versed in 80’s movies, music and video games. He meets a few people along the way, his best friend “Aech” and “Art3mis”. They usually discuss 80’s trivia trying to outdo each other with a “who knows more” contest. The main antagonist of this story is Nolan Sorrento the head of the Oology Department at Innovative Online Industries (IOI). IOI is the typical greedy corporation. They want to destroy the open and free version of the OASIS and turn it into a “pay to play” world. Wade and his friends must find the egg before IOI or else the OASIS as they know it will cease to exist.

Ready Player One is one of my favorite books. It’s a great story about gamers and how gamers can change the world. I loved the pop culture references in this book. It brings back memories of my childhood especially the gaming references. Cline does an excellent job building the world especially OASIS. However, the book primarily appeals to people who enjoy copious amounts of pop culture references. The writing is okay at best with the exposition spanning more than a few chapters. The book also feels like a young adult novel but the target demographic would be 80’s and 90’s kids. Even with the books shortcomings, I would still recommend this book to friends. I might re-read the book before the movie comes out. This is a book any nerd will enjoy.

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February 2015 Loot Crate Unboxing: Play!

Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box for geeks and nerds. It has a variety of items that follow a monthly theme. February’s theme was “Play!” which was very exciting since my gaming group started playing more board games.

What’s in the Box?

Book, Cards and Dice

After finishing my last book “Skin Game” from Jim Butcher I’ve been wanting a new book to read. Thankfully Loot Crate put in “Ready Player One”. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book from friends and online reviews. I’m not a huge fan of the Dystopian future genre but I will give this book a read. I recently read an article about Steven Spielberg directing the movie adaptation, which makes me want to start reading as soon as possible.

A new card game called Super Fight was also included. My first impression of it was the nerdy version of Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity. A few of my friends have played it and said it was a lot of fun. Hopefully I will be able to break out these cards in our next gaming session. Also included is a pair of dice that is used to play a game. The Loot Crate box (not shown) can be turned into a game board. The dice come with rules and the monthly magazine has punch outs. I haven’t looked over the rules but will update if I get a chance to play.

Figures and Bugs

The Munny figure is what I’m most excited about this month. I remember seeing these a few years ago in an art store and have been wanting to paint one. I’ve been painting miniature pieces for wargaming for two years now but this would be a new experience. Thankfully I can use my acrylic paints since I’m not that proficient with markers.

Also included were a Hex Bug, a code for the online game Firefly and a poster from Manny Peters. The Hex Bug looks cool but I haven’t played with them. I’ve received a smaller one in a previous crate but it’s still in its packaging. I’ve heard its very popular with younger children so I may give it to a sibling. The firefly ship code may get me to play this game. I didn’t know they were making this game until a month ago but it’s not too late to start.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think this crate was great. Usually I rate crates based on how many things I liked. I think “Ready Player One”, Munny Figure, and Super Fight were my favorite items in this box but the others are cool as well. I’m happy with this months box and hope the March crate is awesome. 
If you want to sign up use this link, Use the promo code SAVE3 for $3 off any subscription. I also get credit towards my account if you use the link. If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom.