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Reviews Literature / Ready Player One

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06/21/2014 12:14:55 •••

Largely enjoyable, but some quibbles

For the most part, Ready Player One is a good yarn. Other times you can see the freshman part in freshman author.

Despite its faults the world is at least fascinating and explained quite well. You have a typical dystopian world run pretty much by an MMORPG, imagine if World of Warcraft was so huge that every person in the world was playing it 24/7. Now, inside the game is a treasure hunt for two hundred forty billion dollars and all you have to do is find it. No catch, no rules. Just decipher the clues, go through the trials set before you, and win. When our main character finds the first key he becomes world famous and finds himself going head to head with a megacorps. The biggest problem for me is the Sixers, Gunters, and the Oasis itself.

All of IOI really. They get painted unfairly through most of the story. What they want is largely understandable and actually would make the Oasis better. They want to make it subscribe over free to play. Combine that with the gunters doing many of the exact same things they are, yet the Sixers are still painted as evil just because they work for a megacorps and most of the Sixers are weak villains. Except for Sorrento. He is an evil prick.

The gunters just aren't painted realistically. This is a hunt with 240 billion dollars on the line. The villains turn quickly to killing people in the real world, which is natural, people have killed for less. But the Gunters never do. In fact, they get treated as neutral to the whole deal. Sure, some may toss out threats and all, but they are just there until the end where they all work together; Every. Single. One. It's unrealistic.

The Oasis is treated as good, but it's easy to see it as the reason the world is a dystopia. At one point a little old lady uses it to go to church. It's far too encompassing. The book says it's post peak oil, yet electricity is available to all. Creates a plot hole that could have been covered up with the idea of the Oasis being so addictive it made people neglect the planet. This is how I read it and it makes the book better. But officially it's the only good thing left on the planet.

Overall, the book is good. It moves at a decent pace and mostly treats the subject matter realistically. But if you don't want to be machine gunned with pop culture references or want a more seasoned book, look elsewhere.

05/23/2014 00:00:00

I do agree that it was unrealistic that all the Gunters (He or she didn't explain it, so I will. It meant "egg hunters" since the prize money was an easter egg in the game) banned together. It was handwaved through the logic of "they all knew they would never win, yet they didn't want the mega corp to win, so they decided to help the only non-mega corp player who could win".

That sounds sound, but as we all know, we can barely get everyone to come together and work as a cohesive whole in a 6 player FPS multiplayer match just for fun. Try getting thousands of players to stay obedient and team-work minded when $240,000,000,000 is on the line.

06/21/2014 00:00:00

There's a zombie survival game where people are running around stealing other people's pants right now. This just proves more our point that they would not work together.

There was other stuff that I wanted to explain but ran out of characters. The hero has been accused of being a Marty Stu, however everything he goes through in his transformation can be explained by his obsession to the 80s, general paranoia that sets in after seeing the attack on him fail, trying to impress a girl, or the results of a poor gutter kid suddenly hitting the big time.

Outside of the biased look at the Oasis, they explain internet culture pretty well too. For us, the internet itself is slowly becoming the whole world for many people. We all know someone or are someone that hasn't even seen a tree in months because they just have to be on the internet. Information is at the tips of our fingers and you can even take classes on the internet. Just like in Ready Player One. I'd almost use it as a primer if someone asked about the importance of our information network.


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