Sunday, 27 November 2016

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I loved this story from the first page.  It caught my imagination and didn't let go.  At present, the game playing sophistication of the book is fantasy, though it is verging on becoming reality, and before it does we should heed author Ernest Cline's implied warnings. 

By the year 2044, most members of society have become so caught up in the virtual world, that many people never leave their houses, they conduct their day to day life in OASIS, the online world.  When James Halliday,one of the founders of OASIS dies with no heirs, he starts in motion the ultimate game, which will leave the winner wealthy beyond imagination.  Wade Watts, and many others see this as a way out of the grinding poverty that affects far too many.

Wade may still be a student, but he knows OASIS and he understands games.  For years he immerses himself in the genre of the 80's that Mr. Halliday enjoyed.  He hopes that this knowledge will help him solve the clues and win the game.  Also competing to win the prize is a corporate group who with their winnings would turn OASIS from a free access world to one of fees making it inaccessible for many.

It was interesting to see Mr. Cline's view of what life could become as computers and virtual reality  technology advances.  We are already seeing less person to person communication and people use their cell phones to text instead of talk. 

Having lived through the 80's, I enjoyed reminiscing while Wade worked though the clues and followed the leads of Mr. Halliday's life.  Thanks to author Ernest Cline for writing this enjoyable and thought provoking book. 

Also by Ernest Cline:  Armada

Cover image courtesy Penguin RandomHouse Canada

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