Book Reads: Ready Player One (Ernest Cline) [☝]Saturday, November 26, 2016
A good friend recommended me this book, and I could just remember how enthusiastic he was telling me about this. He told me this book is making a buzz online. I got curious, so I know I had to read what this is all about. Apparently the book is set in a dystopian future where a virtual reality game called OASIS exists. Our protagonist, Wade Watts, is one of the thousands of online players of this game.
With just reading the first chapter of the book, the gamer in me became alive. Disclaimer: I am not a hardcore gamer, okay? I never got hooked on those RPGs that was released in recent years. The last one I religiously played was Pokemon Yellow Version (don't judge me 😑).
Speaking of Pokemon, the recent hype, Pokemon Go, had this "cheat" that will enable a player to get a Pikachu early in the game. I knew these cheats are always present in games. As early as playing Contra on the Family Computer, that Konami code was always used by me and my siblings so that the character will have extra lives on the start of the game. It was through this book that I discovered that there is a term for those "cheats" on games - these are what they call easter eggs. Game developers put these easter eggs on purpose for the players to discover during the game. It really adds fun to it, right? This is my greatest take away from this book.
Well, back to the book - the setting of Ready Player One is actually close to the future I imagine. In that world, people are isolated from socialization in real life, and are just locked most of the time in their rooms, living in the online virtual world of OASIS. It's sad and frightening at the same time. It's hard to admit, but this is already happening now. The level of engagement into the virtual/online world is just not as bad yet compared to what's described in the story.
Lots of references were made on 80s pop culture, and I couldn't relate that much honestly. Although, somehow I understand how this book has become a hype, to specific audiences, those that could relate to the games, music, and movies that were mentioned in the book. It might have felt very nostalgic, I could just imagine.
I didn't get hooked immediately with the book. I was already half-way when I stopped reading it for a while. I started to read Coraline first, then resumed reading the book after. The story became more interesting when the hunt for Halliday's Easter Egg had progress - how Parzival was able to crack the clue of where the first key was, and when his avatar's name got displayed as first place on the scoreboard on Halliday's site. It was a signal that the race to win the game had began.
It's kind of refreshing to actually realize that Cline was able to contain the very detailed world of OASIS in a single book. You know how things are these days, books of this kind usually come as a series. There's a disadvantage with a single book of course - the story gets finished immediately. I still wanted to know more about what will happen to Art3mis and Parzival. 😁
It's been a long while since I felt this kind of excitement with reading a book. I was actually always looking forward to being home so that I could continue reading! Even if I was already very sleepy, I was still looking at the book, trying to decipher the words on the page. There was an instance that I literally fell asleep while reading. 😅
The book will be having it's movie version next year, 2017. It will be directed by Stephen Spielberg! This will be huge, I'm telling you! I just cannot contain my excitement for this!
Thanks to my friend for literally handing me this book, because I know this title would go unnoticed if I see it among those displayed in the bookstore. That's why they say - don't judge a book by its cover.