Ready Player One – A false reality

Hey Guys! Sorry this post is a little late. I suddenly seem to have a mountain of work and just couldn’t keep track of all my work.

Anyways, with our discussions in class about Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, I was certain that this was what I was going to talk about in my next blog. One of the most striking things about the plot of Ready Player One was that instead of using virtual reality to create sort of an alternate reality where you could escape to, it almost felt like the world created through virtual reality was the actual reality and reality itself was something different.

The book starts with Wade using the OASIS to escape from his life and using the treasure hunt as a way of justifying the amount of time he spends away from the real world. But I felt that he wasn’t using the OASIS to escape from his life, but instead it was actually what his life was all about.

Early in the book, Wade tells us that he was introduced to the OASIS as soon as he could be introduced to it. The OASIS pretty much raised him to become what he was. As he said in the book, he spent a big chunk of his childhood exploring the OASIS, where he learnt how to “walk, talk, add, subtract, read, write, and share.” In fact, his entire life becomes about progressing in the OASIS and finding the keys that would lead him to the gates from where he can gain control of the OASIS, making him take actions to gain control over it in real life as well.

The book does a really great job of blending the virtual world with reality – which is basically what VR is being designed to do. However, I felt that the characters in the book were using the virtual world to escape reality to an extent where all of them seemed to ignore the big issues that they had to tackle in real life. For example, Wade lived in terrible poverty and terrible conditions but he was still able to get a VR device? I feel like some really important issues are being ignored by escaping to this alternate reality.

People keep worrying about how technology will take over our lives and I think this book is a great example of another way it could do this. Sure, the consequences of this are probably not as severe as something like an evil artificially intelligent robot attacking humanity but I am most definitely not a fan of how the world functioned in the book.


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