Ready Player One - a novel for MMO players
Anyone who has ever played a character in an online game or assumed any kind of persona in a virtual world will identify with this book. Serious MMO players in particular understand the challenge of managing the demands of the real world versus a virtual world and know the perils of trying to live in both at the same time. The two have a way of bleeding together with each having the ability to negatively impact success in the other. Ernest Cline take this concept and creates a virtual utopia known as the OASIS and juxtaposes it against a dystopian society that is in near ruins. Many people live in poverty in the"stacks", which are trailer homes vertically stacked on top of each other, and the only grass they ever see is virtual grass when they are online.
The year is 2044 and online gaming has evolved to the next level despite the fact that much of the real world lies in ruin . When the creator of the OASIS dies without an heir he leaves behind a video will to the players detailing the greatest easter egg hunt of all time. Whoever is the first person to collect the 3 keys that he has hidden throughout his virtual world will receive not only his vast fortune but also gain control of the OASIS itself. This spawns a worldwide phenomena as people every vie for the prize. Those searching for the egg become known as gunters (short for "egg hunters") and many people are so consumed by the quest that they dedicate their lives full time to the search. Despite the frenzy, years go by without anyone's name appearing on the quest leaderboard until one day Wade Watts (aka Parzival), a poor orphan in real life who lives in the stacks, discovers the first key and he is thrust into the worldwide spotlight.
This book is a geek fest full of 80s pop culture references and one heck of an online scavenger across virtual worlds. Of course the stakes are so high that it all bleeds over into the real world where those with real power and money try to bully their way to the prize in any way possible. It is a fun book that will resonate with any gamer, or fan of the eighties, and I heartily recommend it. The movie rights have been purchased by Warner Bros and that have signed up Steven Spielberg to direct it.
The audiobook is narrated by Wil Wheaton and he is a good match for this material. He is more "reader" than story teller but having a geek read a geek-fest of a book works pretty well in this case.
So put on your haptic suit and log into the OASIS as soon as you can - you know you want to.