Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Panda's Punishment Post: Ready Player One

Because I didn't force myself to suffer through Redshirts, I will review: Ready Player One

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One was a quick read. I read it over a year ago, and no longer have my book (someone borrowed it and is yet to return), so I will try to remember it as best I can. 

As other plot summaries will tell you, it’s set in Oklahoma (where I am!) – but in a dystopian future. I think that (if I’m remembering right) there are trailer parks where the trailers are stacked on top of each other – so they’re called “the stacks.” This is a most believable plot about Oklahoma’s future, lol.  In this future, because life sucks so bad for everyone, everybody wants to live online. It’s kind of like the Matrix but people want to be in the virtual world. That is how people go to school, work, etc – it’s all online, but more interactive and “real” than online classes are today. 

I can’t even remember the main characters name, and I’m too lazy to look it up now, but he’s a boy who is a gamer. 

Now, the guy that designed the virtual world(s) that people “live” in dies. But, before he did, he created this game that whoever can figure out his puzzles inherits his estate, basically. And so all of these corporations try and solve his riddles (that are laden with 80s references which I didn’t always enjoy because they were before my time, but hey, that’s when the gamer culture really started to bloom so I get it) so that they can take over the game world – which is more like the actual world, since that’s where everybody wants to live anyway. 

That's where the main character comes in. He tries to solve the game himself - and that means he upsets the big money corps who want to control the world (as if they don't already???).

It’s actually pretty sad to think just how likely this future is for us, and how big corporations would do exactly what they do in the novel – which is try and beat out the little man. 

But about the book: The concept is interesting. But there are no major plot twists. At one point, Cline tries to create one, but it is so obvious:: OBVIOUS RED HERRING!!! OBVIOUS RED HERRING!!!:: that you roll your eyes and sigh. You can pretty much see everything coming.

Also, the fact that you’re not the player solving the riddles is kind of boring. The novel is literally like watching someone play a video game (which is funny because that’s what they ARE doing). 
Which is fine, but if you don’t like the game your friend is playing (without you) then you can’t just say “I’m going home.” No, you have to finish the novel.  

I’ve read that there are talks of turning it into a movie. Which would be good, because I think it would have been a better screenplay than a novel.  Maybe if I had read it when I was younger, it would have impressed me more. But as a 20 year old, I was like “Mer.” Plus, the novel constantly references movies - movies I haven't even seen. So it lacks context for me.

1 comment:

  1. This is interesting. I'm old enough to get nearly all the references in the book, but did find it too predictable and too male-centric. Was wondering what someone who didn't have all the context would think of it. Thanks!