Ready Player One By Ernest Cline, my first book review as a member of #GGBC (Geek Girls Book Club).
(Please imagine a photo of the e-book on my Kobo inserted here. I am a dumb blond who forgot her “book” at work. Remind self to hit library later today for actual paper books.)
First of all, I am now glad that I get the joke when I see people who have named their wireless “OASIS”. I have seen that in several neighborhoods that I lived in, and always thought what the heck is up with “OASIS”. I am apparently not the nerd I thought I was. Yay me, I think.
PLEASE NOTE THAT BELOW WILL FOLLOW SOME SPOILERS, SO DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU’VE A) READ THE BOOK OR B) HAVE NOT INTENT TO READ IT.
When I started the book, I was not thrilled with it all being online and basically about a global mmo. I am not the world’s biggest fan of PC and home console games. I play the required stuff on Facebook, some Mystery Case File on DS and Wii, and never miss a Professor Layton…Other then that, I feel that video games are a life sucking vampire that must be wiped from the planet. My initial thoughts were “Great, I am reading a book about WoW/FFXI/EVE junkies on a planetary scale. This is gonna suck!” I know all you gamers are booing and hissing at me like a bad vaudeville play. I am glad the Cline proved my initial assumptions on his book wrong.
Born in 1975, the 1980’s were the years that formed who I am today. I miss them. Kids were kids, parents were “parental units” not friends, music videos told stories, movies were about the story and not the best CG, Ferris Bueller was who we wanted to be not a car commercial. Life was simpler. I played more video games (I remember the white cabinet that housed JOUST, I think the local pizza place had one). My dad brought home and Atari 2600 for the kids…it was several hours before we could touch it because he had to make sure it was ok for us to play. We had imaginations and knew how to use them.
Sorry, had a squirrel moment.
There is a social commentary to the book: If we keep doing what we are doing, there is not going to be much of a future. Kids are bullied, so they are wanting to online charter schools instead of public schools. Adults are already living through their computers, they work/play/date there. 2nd life had become 1st life for some people. We pollute, we take away jobs, we all accept a culture of bullying to adults and kids. We are headed to the future that Wade lived in and “opted out of” to become Parzival. Not a pleasant thought. However at the end it seemed that Parzival and Art3mis were looking forward to spending more time as Wade and Samantha.
The concept of the “egg hunt” reminded me of a cross between “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and the “Scavenger Hunt” movie from about 1979. Plus the added element of hostile corporate take over, complete with virtual and IRL killers. All in all it was a great book, even if the general concept wasn’t the most original, the references are worth it.