Review of Ready Player One by eric

Eric Mueser

Ready Player One the book was already reviewed on this site, and if you haven’t already read that review, I recommend you do, because I’m going to be focusing less on the summary and more on my opinion. I’ll have the summary first and my evaluation after that. Long story short, I liked it, but not everyone would. So now I’ll elaborate on that with minimal spoilers.

Ready Player One is based about 25 years in the future. It has a remarkably believable outlook on a dystopian future. The world becomes over-populated, and people stop trying to solve the world’s problems, and instead begin trying to out-live them. The most common way they do this is to escape to the OASIS, a virtual universe created by James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he leaves part of himself behind in the game in the form of three easter eggs. Any player who solves these easter eggs will be rewarded with Halliday’s estate, valued at $500 billion, and complete control over the OASIS. With the promise of complete control over something as influential as the OASIS, companies like IOI (led by Nolan Sorrento) were founded that employ hundreds of thousands of people to assist them in winning.

Our protagonist is Wade Watts (known in-game as Parzival), a regular in the OASIS and Halliday super-fan. Wade spends time in the OASIS to escape, and hang out with his friends. He meets his love interest, Art3mis, after saving her character from death (and therefore losing all of her in-game progress). Wade relates to Halliday on a deeper level though, and spends time combing through hours of footage of Halliday’s memories, which Halliday was always careful to document and make available to the OASIS. He figures out how to solve the first easter egg by listening to Halliday’s conversations, and this puts him on top of the leaderboard, which he shares with his friends who shortly thereafter complete.

After this happens, IOI hires a mercenary by the name of i-R0k who overhears Parzival tell Art3mis his real name, after which IOI tracks him to invite him to their virtual headquarters to offer him a job. Parzival refuses the job out of distrust, and IOI bombs his home. Wade lives, because he was not at home when the attack took place, but after is kidnapped by the resistance, led by Art3mis’s real life character Samantha, who reveals the true lengths IOI goes to in attempting to win. They kill hundreds and enslave thousands more through indentured servitude. Wade becomes determined to win. He looks further into Halliday’s memories and figures out the second easter egg, having to do with his only ever date, where he saw The Shining. They solve the easter egg, but IOI comes to the resistance base, where Samantha lets herself be captured so Wade can escape. She is taken to IOI headquarters and put in a virtual prison cell, and logged onto the OASIS in a labor camp to repay her father’s debt to IOI.

Wade remembers seeing Nolan Sorrento’s login credentials when he was offered a job, so he hacks his account to talk to Samantha, who breaks out of her cell and begins roaming IOI’s headquarters. IOI has figures out the third challenge and locks themselves inside a forcefield to protect themselves while they attempt to complete it, meaning no other OASIS members can access them. Samantha logs on to various different accounts inside IOI’s headquarters and shuts down the force-field and a massive battle ensues. Wade is about to complete the challenge when Nolan activates a super-weapon to kill all OASIS members in the area around them. If you want to find what happens after that, you have to read the book or watch the movie.

I liked this movie a lot. That being said, I fall into almost every category of people who would like this movie. For starters, I haven’t read the book. Most people who I’ve talked to who have read the book said the movie was a let-down in comparison. I’m also a teenage guy who spends his free time nerding out on all things computers based, so that puts me into a further biased category. But there were some things that it could’ve done better. The second easter egg was entirely based in the setting of the movie “The Shining,” (which I would recommend seeing before familiarizing yourself with) which seemed only loosely related and just out of place. There are a few half baked characters, and some unexplained plot aspects, but most of them clear up as you analyze the movie more. Back to what I liked though, starting with Spielberg. I personally hold Spielberg as almost the gold standard for directors, and this movie is undeniably and entirely him. In most of Spielberg's other movies, he is restricted by some form of historical sequence, and you can see how it affects the final product. In Ready Player One, his magic can be fully unleashed restricted by nothing, not even the laws of physics. This movie has a lot of transitions, and Spielberg changes the attitude and emotions seamlessly and gracefully from scene to scene in a way few other directors can recreate, linking the virtual and physical world in a way that truly only Spielberg can. The story line is above average, but has a very set audience that will recognize it. It has subtexts showing the dangers of free-range capitalism, and a much more direct references to net neutrality. If you’re a Spielberg fan, a gamer, or a nerdy teenager, you’ll love Ready Player One.