Tame Bear on August 24th, 2016

If you enjoyed the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, join our conversation — add your comments below.

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My friend Mark Yoder put me onto this excellent novel, “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline, but good luck getting it at your local library. Our library here has several copies. I was still 11th! in line when I put a request in for it, and it took nearly a month of waiting to get it.

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineNow I am half-way through it and can’t put it down. What a great way to tell a compelling story, by way of 1980’s pop culture. Lot’s of references to the music, movies, and video games of that era.

I had just graduated from college in 1980. It was the very beginning of the age of video arcade games and personal computers, and it is such a TREAT to read this book and remember those times.

For those of you who don’t know, I worked for several years at Mindscape (before it was bought out by Electronic Arts) where I was engaged as a game designer and digital artist. I wasn’t much of a player, but I was immersed in the culture. I often thought “What a great time to be alive!” Now I am reliving it a bit — and laughing out loud at times — through this book, including the affection for “Ladyhawke” which makes a couple appearances in the storyline. (Look it up if you don’t know it.) Get if from YOUR local library!

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“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline is about a futuristic virtual reality so compelling that everyone chooses to spend most of their time logged in there. The book was published in 2011, so it caught my attention when I came across this prescient passage on page 201…

“The once-great country into which I’d been born now resembled its former self in name only. It didn’t matter who was in charge. Those people were rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and everyone knew it. Besides, now that everyone could vote from home, via the OASIS, the only people who could get elected were movie stars, reality TV personalities, or radical televangelists.”

SPOILER?

I was particularly touched towards the end of the story when friends who had known each other only in virtual reality meet IRL for the first time. I’ve had this experience… and it is wonderful. Here’s a quote that says it all:

“I realized that we already did know each other, as well as any two people could. We’d known each other for years, in the most intimate way possible. We’d connected on a purely mental level. I understood her, trusted her, and loved her as a deep friend. None of that had changed, or could be changed by anything as inconsequential as her gender, or skin color, or sexual orientation.”

AUDIBLE!

Hey hey — There’s an audio version of this book, narrated by none other than Wil Wheaton.

If you’ve read this book and want to join the conversation, add your comments below.

 

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