Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
In his book Ready Player One, Ernest Cline shows the time when the world starts crumbling. The world economy is stagnant, and many natural resources have been depleted. The Internet and game culture reach unprecedented levels, and people spend most of their time in the virtual world. Poverty and social instability disappear in this virtual world where everyone would prefer to live. However, at the same time, virtual reality leads to personal degradation, making people incapable of communicating in real life.
The genius obsessed with the culture of the 1980s creates the perfect virtual world called the OASIS. People live there, socialize, work, and attend school. James Halliday, the creator of the OASIS, dies leaving a will, according to which a player who will find the Easter egg inside the OASIS will inherit all his multi-billion dollar fortune and whole OASIS. People start studying the culture of the 1980s, including movies, shows, songs, and events of that time to crack the puzzle. The global internet service provider also tries to win the game, aiming to take control of the OASIS. However, an ordinary poor schoolboy finds the Easter egg.
Wade Owen Watts is the main character and narrator of the novel. This eighteen-year-old boy is a typical antisocial teenager. The book Ready Player One develops the theme of socialization. The imaginary world is the only place where people communicate with each other. They live in the OASIS to escape from reality and forget about problems existing in the real world. However, as people spend too much time in the OASIS, they become unable to communicate in real life. The virtual world makes their communication skills atrophied. The Great Recession, severe poverty, and social destabilization depress people and make them deny reality. The level of unemployment has soared, and humanity faces the lack of natural resources.
The picture of the real world becomes apocalyptic step by step. In the real world, the oasis is a place in a desert which has vegetation and water. In the imaginary world of Halliday, the OASIS becomes "a pleasant place for the world to hide from its problems while human civilization slowly collapses, primarily due to neglect". Consequently, the OASIS can be regarded as the symbol of the place where people can escape from their problems. According to the article "A Future Wrapped in 1980s Culture," "part of what has made Oasis so attractive is that real life on an impoverished, resource-depleted Earth has grown increasingly grim”. In the future world, real life stops being happy and turns into something terrifying and painful.
The gates, Easter egg, and pop culture are other symbols in the novel. The gates show the progress of society as the more gates people come through, the less antisocial they become. However, the gates are not only the entry but also the exit. It means that every problem has a way out. When the main character goes through all the gates, his worldview changes. The egg symbolizes renewal or rebirth. Wade becomes a different person once he finds the Easter egg, which is the symbol of resurrection. In addition, the elements of pop culture such as movies, songs, games, and shows become the topics to discuss with people.
The hunt for the egg makes people revive, motivating them to struggle and communicate with each other. In fact, the novel shows the five introverts who fight against the powerful enemy. The global corporation aims to win in order to take control of the OASIS and use it to increase its income and get richer. This storyline reminds readers of the current world order. People seek to become wealthy by all means. They ignore the consequences of their actions as the only thing they see is money. The desire to get as much wealth as possible explains why natural resources become depleted. People also get exhausted after all.
The novel becomes different if people realize the consequences of the tragedy described in Ready Player One. The author shows that the disadvantages of the OASIS outweigh its advantages. The main lesson of the novel is that virtual reality is not so good as it may seem because it makes people forget about their real life. After Wade wins a victory, he announces that he has "no desire to log back into the OASIS". In the process of globalization, humans expand their opportunities by means of computers. However, these computers change the essence of people and the way they interact with each other. Individuals forget about human needs and values after experiencing the benefits of technological innovation. Technology and progress destroy not only the human soul but also nature. People’s existence and survival on Earth depend on the biosphere, and the development of nanotechnology leads to the destruction of the biosphere.
To summarize, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline shows the future world where technological progress leads to the Great Recession. The global economy stagnates, and vital natural resources become scarce. People start safeguarding their personal interests, neglecting simple human values, destroying nature, and hurting the feelings of others. To escape from grim reality, individuals live in the virtual world, losing their communication skills and becoming unable to interact with others in real life. The main character, Wade, is a persevere boy who struggles against difficulties and changes his worldview. The novel demonstrates the price people have to pay for the existence of alternative reality where everyone would like to live.
Heiley Durst wrote this gripping article. She works as a professional freelance writer at the best writing service where you can see more of her paper.