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Ready Player One
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January 2014 Book: Ready Player One

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ClermontLibrary | 6 comments Mod
Join us as we discuss this look at a dystopian future that's full of 1980s pop culture and gaming references.


message 2: by CCPL Staff (last edited Jan 06, 2014 09:39AM) (new)

CCPL Staff (ccplstaff) | 2 comments Ready Player One
By: Ernest Cline
Ready Player One is a sci-fi coming-of-age story, love letter to the ‘80’s, and an adventure for those who can identify with The Quest, whether it be for glory, fortune, or love. The audiobook, moreover, is read by Geek Superstar, Wil Wheaton, star of Star Trek: The Next Generation and in recent years, The Big Bang Theory.

What’s it about?:
The year is 2044 and the world is in near-ruins. The Internet and gaming culture have evolved into a creation known as OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets, created by James Halliday and Ogden Morrow.

Halliday, with no heirs or other living family, suddenly dies and leaves a video will to those in OASIS. Whoever can collect three keys that are hidden throughout OASIS and pass through the matching gates will receive his fortune. This becomes known as The Hunt and people immediately begin the search for Halliday's keys.

Many years have passed since Halliday’s video will. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS. One day, Wade stumbles upon the first key, and the whole world turns its attention to him, which puts him in the spotlight, and in grave danger.

About the Author:
ERNEST CLINE has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone. His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture full-time as a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His 2009 film Fanboys, much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon. These days Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, their daughter, and a large collection of classic video games. READY PLAYER ONE is his first novel.

Some Things to Think About…

1. Explore the question of identity raised in the novel. What do the characters’ avatars tell us about their desires and their insecurities? In reality, does our physical appearance give false clues about who we really are? Does Parzival become Wade’s true self?
2. In his quest for the three keys, Parzival is required to inhabit many nostalgia-laden, imaginary worlds, including movies, video games, and a simulation of Halliday’s childhood home. If you were to create secret keys and gates in to your personal treasure in a virtual reality, what would they be?
3. IOI’s attempts at taking control over OASIS take many forms. Have you noticed similar power grabs in the real world by companies or people? Are the tactics used by IOI outrageous or true to life? What do you think the inclusion of IOI in the story reflects about freedom & information sharing over the internet as we know it today, and as it may become in the future?
4. How does public school in the OASIS compare to your experience in school? Have the OASIS schools created a solution to classroom overcrowding, student apathy, and bullying, or merely changed the channels through which these ills plague young people?
5. How does the description of the debtors being forced into indentured servitude make you feel? How does it compare to the real world, both past and present?

Want to read it in eBook or eAudiobook format? Check it out from the Ohio Digital Library here and here.


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