Man, do I have some mixed feelings about this book. There’s a lot to unpack here, but at the same time(with no disrespect to Earnest Cline) I don’t believe the work is meant to be all that deep.
Ready Player One is a love letter to geek culture and all the franchises birthed in the 80s and since. In the beginning, I felt like someone had written a strange fan fiction under the guise of virtual reality, but as the plot progressed Cline got more of a rhythm down.
What I mean when I saw that the book is complex is how the book both affirms video games by giving so many homages to the 80s and other geek pop culture like Star Wars, Star Trek, Dungeons and Dragons, and of course Atari. Yet, there is this continual back and forth between our hero, Wade Watts, and his conflict with “living outside” of the OASIS or within it. I don’t want to spoil this by digressing further.
The book itself is a fun romp through all of the older childhood places that I remember somewhat from my 90s-00s childhood. Some of the references were lost on me and I can see why this was made into a flick directed by the king of 80s cinema(Speilberg). All of that makes sense. I might have to sit for some time trying to convince myself to either love the book or hate it, but for now…I’m firmly on the fence.