The World in 2044 Ready Player One

Well are you? Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is one sweet geek-treat for pop culture fans of the 80s. Heck! Even if you were born after that era you might start a growing fascination over the 80s and all references made in the book.

The year is 2044 and the world is plagued by the energy crisis, pollution, and unemployment. Poverty has practically became a way of life. Enter, OASIS, an online simulation game which allows users to live a life by their design. OASIS's gaming console would come to be known as one of the greatest gaming devices of all time. Its haptic rig and visor allows its users to experience the game as if it were reality itself, providing its users an escape from reality.

It was until OASIS creator James Halliday's passing that unlocked a video invitation to an Easter Egg hunt within the game to all its ten thousand users. The ultimate prize of the hunt, money, enough to alliviate a whole nation out of poverty. This created a global frenzy, given that all its users had equal chances in finding the egg. However Halliday designed the hunt to seem impossible to accomplish. This left people to speculate that the hunt might have been just a publicity stunt.

Years passed and an unlikely 18 year old Wade Watts, who is trying to make ends meet for him in the impoverished conditions at the Stacks, discovered the first key to Halliday's Easter Egg hunt. In effect this had reignited interest in the hunt, his virtual self shoots into instant popularity and comes across frenzied players who are literally ready to kill in order to win.

Location Location Location
The book makes many references to pop culture icons of the 80s from video games, TV shows, music, books, especially games and gaming consoles. With Ghostsbusters, Star Wars, Neil Gaiman, PacMan, and Back To The Future to name some of the real life references made in the book. I guess I am too young to find most of them alien to me.
The Atari gaming console commonly mentioned in the book. Did you folks ever get to play on these?

Here are some illustrations by Gordon Jones to give you a vivid idea of what 2044 is like in RPO.
The stacks, the community where Wade lives in the year 2044. 
To give you a clearer picture, the Stacks is an example of slum community in America. These used to be trailer parks but with the population growth they decided to create metal scaffolds to hold trailers on top of each other to make room. The stacks go about 15 trailers high at the most. Its a dangerous place to live in especially the trailers nearest the ground where the sunlight reaches least.  Can you imagine living in a place like this? Hi tharr housing development authorities.
Wade Watts playing OASIS at his hideout.
Look at all that car battery, you can charge him for battery with that. A better caption here is "Creepy perv watching porn in his secret hideout". 
Wade Watts in Ogden Morrow's Birthday Party.
This is how they do Sci-Fi parties in the 80s, fictionally I mean.

The Author
Mr. Cline is a guy who prefers to geek-out than continue his day job of living as "short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone" I quote his website on that. He has successfully shared his passions with us through RPO as Anorak, Game designers / Wizard extraordinaire of Oasis, did in the story.

Will they turn it into a movie?
Yes, absolutely, dork.  Warner Bros bought its screen rights. Gordon Jones art does not portray what Warner Bros has in mind for the film even if he was hired by Ernie to do the artwork. Just keep your fingers crossed for your bet to play the lead Wade Watts.  

Want to live the game? Ernie has taken his readers' excitement a level up with a game launched inspired by the plot. Read all about it on this post.

What about you guys, what are you currently reading?

Gordon Jones artwork grabbed from

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