Notso Live Blog: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Editor’s note: Every once in awhile, Laura “live blogs” her reading on Goodreads. This is invariably because a book is pissing her off tremendously and/or she got really wild and drank not one, but two, non-IPA beers. We’ve decided to immortalize such moments in a new “feature,” named in honor of Jessica “Notso” Darling

It’s 2044.

The delightful recession of our current times is still ongoing and known as the Great Recession. An energy crisis has somehow led to the development of 30-high stacked trailer shanty-towns, one of which is where our protagonist and narrator, Wade Watts, lives, but not where he spends most of his time.

At this point in our future, an advanced virtual reality system exists that allows humanity to escape the misery of their real lives. Upon the death of one of the creators, James Halliday, a puzzle game within the system is revealed to exist, and whomever solves it first will inherit Halliday’s 240+ billion dollar fortune, as well as ownership and control of the system where most people spend their time.

An EVIL COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION that I equate with Comcast will do ANYTHING to win. Including kill people.

And spend exorbitant amounts of money on virtual magic items.

After years and years of no progress by anyone in solving the puzzle, Wade—known in the system as the avatar Parzival—becomes the first person to solve the first clue.

And away we go!

I don’t remember reading about any damn oasis within OASIS. So there.


They don’t even mention if she wears glasses. Or if she likes Friday Night Lights. Nuff said…

My inner Star Wars geek is upset with me for not getting this sooner.

At this point, I reached the breaking point with my biggest peeve in fiction: The stereotyped Asian character. The two in this book, Daito and Shoto, are the one-dimensional, constantly bowing, samurai-warrior-dressed avatars of two geeky, gamer obsessed Japanese guys.


Also, ASIANS DON’T JUST BOW AT EVERYONE ALL THE TIME. When my parents immigrated to the US from Korea in the 1970s, they didn’t run around bowing at everyone in the US, nor did they expect to be bowed to by anyone. It’s called assimilation. Us Asians are totally capable of it.

After all, WE’RE ALL SMART, remember?

I mean, really. This is simply not how to impress a girl: 

And if Wade really needed to load up his avatar, Parzival, with dance software in order to impress his virtual crush Art3mis, he at least could have selected Patrick Dempsey’s African Anteater Ritual dance from Can’t Buy Me Love. 

This is what we have to look forward to from the adult industry in 2044.


In the wise words of Forrest Gump,

That’s all I have to say about that.




Moving on…

Yeah, I still don’t understand why virtual Wade (Parzival) grabbed the virtual garlic. Some 80s gamer reference, probably? Who cares, really?

It’s virtual garlic.

Collected by a virtual person.

And I just can’t bring myself to care about virtual beings, no matter how meticulously constructed the avatar, because they’re NOT FUCKING REAL.

(Though I do admit to inappropriately cackling like an evil, EVIL bitch when almost all of the avatars were deleted towards the end.)

Hey! It looks like gamers and I actually have something in common! 

Does anyone else remember Mr. Tuttle, the business class teacher/science teacher/driver’s ed instructor/glee club advisor? No? Well, I do. Incidentally, there’s only one girl I know who has watched more Saved by the Bell than me, and that’s only because I put my foot down when Zack Morris grew his hair out in the College Years episodes.


In a book where everyone (in real life) wants to live in dreary Columbus, Ohio (?!) because it’s apparently become the center of the tech industry (?!?!?! Come. On. I don’t care how little time these people spend in the real world; I refuse to believe they would voluntarily spend it in Columbus), Oregon is the only location in the book depicted as beautiful.

Some things will never change!

(L-R) Columbia River Gorge, Cannon Beach, Sunriver; Photos by Sarah

…in which our favorite white teenage male Wade discovers that in the real world, not just the virtual world, he is neither racist nor homophobic. Congratulations on helping the US in 2044 move that much closer towards becoming a post-racial society, Wade!

I ♥ the movie Sneakers. Especially at the end when River Phoenix can ask for anything, and all he requests is the cute NSA employee’s phone number. Sa-woon!

Final Thoughts

  • Why a Whedon-verse with zero mention of Buffy? Mega-fail.
  • Where did Wade acquire his master hacking skills?
  • Why did Ogden Morrow have so many OASIS hookup chambers in his house? Did he know he would need them? Or are they for his sizeable retinue of servants?


If the crazy game creator regretted not spending enough time in the real world during his lifetime, then WHY THE FUCK did he make his ridiculously enormous inheritance dependent on everyone spending their time as virtual people attempting to solve a virtual puzzle in this virtual world that he created, which resulted in no one making real-world connections for 5-6 years?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Game Over.

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