‘Ready Player One’ is required for good reason

Adventure story with a dystopian twist, a satisfying read


JONI COBARRUBIAS | The Daily Evergreen

Elizabeth Dobbins, freshman, reads “Ready Player One” in The Bookie after class.

MORGAN LESTER, Evergreen columnist

Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One” is nothing short of a wondrous, engaging novel surrounding a dystopian future dominated by a single video game, and the race to uncover its largest secret — and the biggest Easter egg known to man.

Set in the year 2044, “Ready Player One” follows the nerdiest narrator ever, Wade Watts, as he, under the name Parzival, navigates the virtual reality simulator the OASIS in his journey to find the Easter egg left behind by the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday.

He is accompanied by his friends Aech and Art3mis as they are chased by the employees of IOI, the largest multinational internet service provider (known as Sixers, or SuX0rs), as they chase the ultimate prize: control of the OASIS, and a boatload of money. Their quest takes them in and out of the game, as they are chased down by the Sixers both in-game and in the real world.

For all of you thinking that because WSU assigned this book as its 2017 Common Reading, it must be some boring piece of literature rife with messages unknown and symbols galore, I implore you — this is a good read that you will genuinely enjoy.

Packed with adventure, callbacks to the ’80s, and more nerds than any other novel in history, it is fun and quirky, and will have you calling your parents wondering what the hell “reindeer flotilla” is (P.S. It’s the password Flynn uses in “Tron” to backdoor ENCOM’s systems). Moreover, there is a fair bit of comedy in the novel.

Each of the main characters has some pretty awesome quips that they throw at each other and at the world around them, like Wade’s line, “You could shove it up your ass and pretend you’re a corndog,” or Halliday’s thoughts on masturbation. Beyond the humor, there are several major battles between the protagonists and the Sixers, game-within-a-game action, and an “Ocean’s Eleven”-style heist.

While at times raunchy, and a slow start as Wade begins finding clues, the book has a speedy pace and some sharp turns as the story picks up steam and prepares the reader for a final battle of epic proportions.

For those who know the ’80s, you need to give this one a read — the characters regularly quote and reference this period in pop culture, and you’ll find yourself laughing alongside them as they fight their way to the top.

Morgan Lester is a freshman architectural studies major from Leavenworth, Kansas. He can be contacted at [email protected].