I know I'm late to the game with this one, even though it's a book right up my alley, but I made it eventually and the trip was worth it.
Ready Player One was exactly what I expected it to be - a book for children of the 80's and 90's who really grew up around the digital revolution. I never stopped identifying with the references throughout the book as well as call to game. I'll admit it right now, I played World of Warcraft for a time and while I wouldn't call myself a serious gamer, I used to get excited when I'd be left alone in my apartment so I could settle in and game with no distractions. So, I get it and reconnecting with that side of myself through the adventures in this book was, "most excellent."
But this book is more than just an homage to the birth of gaming and the love of its players, it represents a struggle that is very real - the powerful controlling the masses vs the every man rising above the corrupt power. The battle to gain control of the OASIS, which has been left up for grabs by its eccentric, deceased creator, has put individual gamers or Gunters at war against the Sixers, members of a corrupt company that wants to monetize this virtual world where most people truly come alive. The battle is action-packed and dangerous with the highest stakes possible. If the Sixers win, the OASIS will no longer be available to everyone. You cheer for the five gunters who have managed to make progress in the quest to win control of the OASIS. Three keys and three gates are all that stand between them and winning control. You hate the Sixers who are cheating their way through the quest as much as possible, using their own army of avatars to try and win the game. It really does become a battle to the death.
With so much more made possible having this battle take place in the virtual world, the surprises don't stop and a somewhat common plot is taken through new twists and turns for an entertaining ride. I had a lot of fun reading this book and nerding out in my own way. A great read for lovers of 80's pop culture and all things video game.