Back in the day I was a bit of a girl gamer. A 'tiny' bit. Ok, quite a lot actually but it was the 80's and I was a teen and geeks were cool back then and Summer lasted 10 months of the year...ok, some of that was probably made up but the rest is true.
As soon as I saw that Ready Player one was about game geeks with strong links to the 1980's I was all over it and from start to finish I couldn't put it down. It's fantastic. I don't know if it's because the 80's are my era and games are in my blood and but I suspect it would be just as epic a read for anyone who doesn't share my history. It's just fantastic. The story telling is spot on and there are so many twists and turns that it's hard to put down.
The 80's references are everywhere, since the whole idea of the contest in the book focuses on the 80's but the author has either done his homework very well or was in fact a geek boi himself. I'm guessing it's the latter and he probably still is. I'm still a big game geek at heart too. I'm a high 180+ lvl warrior on a popular MMORPG which I've played for almost 6 years now and not ashamed to admit it...well, not here anyway :D
Although it's set in the future the story took me right back. The music references were like a trip down memory lane and the author has kindly compiled a mix tape for listening to alongside the book. Epic soundtrack!
Apart from all of that, I really, really liked the hero Parzival and cared about what happened to him. Total geek but that's the point of the book - they're all geeks. Even the non-geeks are geeks. Everyone plugs into the virtual reality known as the Oasis, it's the norm for just about everyone on the planet. Even Parzival's elderly neighbour plugs in for hours and hours on end so she can sit in the pews of her virtual church and sing hymns and listen to sermons. Business meetings take place in the Oasis where attendee's don't even leave thier own office/home if they don't want to, they just sign in to the Oasis, put on their virtual reality goggles and gloves and thier avatars do their business dealings in the comfort of virtual rooms/workplaces, with collegues who live on the other side of the planet. Kids don't go to school much, they just plug into the VR school's in the Oasis. Everything is done via the Oasis, even the very poor homeless people have access to free VR goggles and gloves so that they can hook up via free wireless and imerse themselves in a reality that's favourable to thier own. There's nothing that can't be done on the Oasis and nowhere that can't be visited.
I barely know where to start with this one. It's really hard to say much about it without ruining the plot. And the good bits that aren't about the plot are just too many to single out one or two to write about. It's all good. It's just...really, really good and I'd recommend it. It brought back to mind lots of things from my youth that I thought I'd forgotten and for that I'm grateful. Plus, I got a fantastic story to immerse myself in so all-in-all it was moeny well spent.
Ah, the 80's. It's like I never left :D
Back then we lived in a house by the beach and there was a permanant Carny just 10 minutes walk from us on the beachfront. Arcade games aplenty! Nothing could beat the thrill of seeing your own three initials on the scoreboard and achievments like that took a LOT of practice (and a lot of cash.) We spent a LOT of time huddled round those machines. Boys really seemed to sit up and take notice of you when you kick their butt and replace their initials with your own...
Oh, and one of my favourite games at the time, that I played in the privacy of my own room on my ZX Spectrum was....'My name is Uncle Groucho, you win a fat cigar'. Seriously. Catchy game name, huh?!
Don't laugh, the game's designer Mel Croucher went on to be better known for his later works Deus Ex Machina so he got a bit better with the game titles - and the gameplay.