ready player one [book review]

This book was presumably suggested to me by an Amazon AI based on my previous browsing, and I got intrigued enough by the summary plot and the above cover to order it while in Austin and read it on the way back to Paris. The setting of the story is a catastrolyptic near-future (2044) where gas is a luxury and most of the planet is unemployed and spends its time in a all-immersive free-access virtual reality. Five teenagers join million others in a quest to win a fortune… Against an evil corporation that seeks this fortune and control of the virtual universe. The story revolves around this quest, with some forays in the real world, and a reflection on characters who only know each other via their avatars. Other books based on videogaming come to mind, from Ender’s Game to Neuromancer, to Diamond Age, to REAMDE… But this one is much more focussed on the nature of video-gaming and on the feature of such of a society. I enjoyed the book to the point of staying up late for several evenings in a row, even though the plot is somewhat weak at the societal level, i.e. in describing the economic dynamics of such a society, but setting the games, movies and music themes within the 80’s is obviously catering to readers like me (although I miss a large part of the references). The book was published in 2011, so this is not any recent publication, but there is a movie by Steven Spielberg coming out soon.

2 Responses to “ready player one [book review]”

  1. David Frazier Says:

    Hi Christian,

    Funnily enough, I read this book right before my recent visit at Dauphine! All in all, it was an enjoyable read: a really cool concept but the plot was definitely a bit “thin” in parts.

    Also, the book works as a relatively nice allegory for the current net neutrality battle/debate taking place in the U.S. right now.

    Safe Travels,

    David Frazier

    • Ah, quite the coincidence since the book is not that recent! I tried to peddle it to Joachim but the movie trailer convinced him not to read it. The trailer indeed sounds like a low budget advertisement for a video game…

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