Thursday, 11 September 2014

057: Ready Player One

I've just enjoyed reading a great adventure novel and I think it will appeal to people who are residents of Second Life; the setting will be very familiar and there's a certain gaming attitude that you'll probably enjoy.  I suspect this would qualify as a "young adult" adventure, but whatever category it's in will never stop me from enjoying a good read.

Here's the information you'll need to find it, and a link to Amazon:

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
First edition: 2011, Crown
ISBN-13: 9780307887443

You can find the Kindle edition here and various other formats on Amazon. The book came out a couple of years ago and there was considerable buzz that it was going to be made into a film, but I haven't heard much since.

The story, in its bare bones, is sort of a quest.  In the year 2044, teenager Wade and his family are on the lowest rungs of society, but everyone has free access to certain functions of OASIS, a SL-like MMO where everyone attends school, works and lives. The creator of OASIS, James Halliday, died a few years ago and left ownership of OASIS, and the world's largest fortune, to the person who can solve a series of quests.  So far, no one's even managed to find the first one. Well, of course, Wade -- in the form of his avatar Parzival -- manages to find the first key and finds himself embroiled in some exciting adventures, trying to solve the incredibly difficult puzzles, many of which have to do with 1980s video games and popular culture, stay out of the clutches of his powerful new enemies and competitors for the immense fortune, and get the girl.

The book moves fast, is well-written, and manages to capture the excitement of the puzzles as well as the danger and excitement of the situations. I think you'll enjoy it!

If you've already read the book and are looking for more of a Second Life connection, I'll point you to a blog post from New World Notes from 2012 that will lead you to a recreation of a location from the novel: check this out.  The author, Ernest Cline, apparently spent time in SL before publication and I think you'll agree with me that it shows.

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