Do You Dare to Discuss Ready Player One?

Bookbloggers, don’t you ever get tired of seemingly talking to air when you review books? Don’t you want interaction beyond “Yeah, I loved it” or “Hmph, I hated it it!”? Sometimes you want to dive into a book. To actually discuss it instead of just talk about it. That desire is how the decision came about to try out our hands at this, a ‘daring deliberation’ of the occasional book. Though we’ll only be featuring reviews from a few bloggers in the main body of the post, everyone is welcome to comment.

Rules for Participation: 

  1. It is okay to disagree. In fact, we welcome you to disagree with others. Give your opinion on the book. Talk about it! Just…be POLITE about it. The minute I see it getting out of hand, the ban hammer will come down with mighty vengeance. We don’t care if you’re 14 or 54, keep it polite or keep it shut.
  2. Feel free to link to your own reviews of Ready Player One, but keep the discussion here please!

The Book

Published on August 16th, 2011, Ready Player One is a book that people either seem to love or hate. (Admittedly, more people seem to love it than hate it.) It’s been called everything from an Ode to the 80’s to the Gamer Geek’s Dream. There’s no denying that it’s a very well-known book, and the fervor only increased when it was learned that there was going to be a movie adaptation. You can find out more about the book at it’s Wikipedia page.

Right now, Ready Player One has a 4.31 rating on Goodreads, from 299,835 ratings.

Ready Player OneIn the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. – Goodreads Synopsis

The Reviews

(These open in their own tabs, so don’t be afraid to go look at them. I’ve provided excerpts to give you a basic feel for the tone of the review.)

Lilyn G @ Sci-Fi & Scary: Full Review

When I first heard about Ready Player One, of course one of the first things I heard about was the 80’s trivia. Here’s the thing, trivia is cool but literal lists of one 80’s game or movie after another is NOT. Actually, toward the end of the book I found myself wondering if this, along with his penchant for being way, way too descriptive where its not needed was the author trying to reach a magical word-count.(Have no way of knowing, not interested in really finding out. Just what I thought.)

Melanie @ MNBernard Books: Full Review

The writing style is very specific. A lot of research was done to make sure that everything was accurate and that shows in the details given about the world. That being said, some of the information can be daunting for readers. In that sense, the writing does occasionally come off as bland, but the imagery is superb and makes up for any slower, information-heavy sections.

Emily @ Emily Reads Everything: Full Review

Any negative feelings or impressions I got about this book were way off. I thought it was hilarious from start to finish. It was a like a love letter to my childhood and reading it was like a stroll down memory lane. It was both familiar and surprising. I listened to the audio book, narrated by Wil Wheaton. I think that there is no better way to read this book. Hearing the story in Wil Wheaton’s quiet, confident cadence is like stepping back to the 80s and wandering in a forest of nostalgia.

The Discussion Begins Now

Guys, it goes without saying that SPOILERS MIGHT HAPPEN. It sort of naturally happens when you’re discussing a book. So, if you don’t want to read spoilers, it’d be time to go away now.

Here are some questions to get us started:

  • If it’s been some time since you read/listened to the book, has your opinion changed?
  • What could he have changed, if anything, to make the book better?
  • Do you see the Oasis as something that might happen in our future?
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28 Responses to Do You Dare to Discuss Ready Player One?

  1. Has your opinion changed? Yes, my opinion of the book has actually went down even further since initially (listening) to it. I just can’t really find much positive that stands out in the book, instead its the things that irritated me that stand out over everything else.

  2. Did Ready Player One make you nostalgic for the 80s? It didn’t me. All I could think was “Seriously? Big hair, bad music, and horrible fashion. The only decent thing to come out of the 80s was the horror films.”

    • Haha! I’m not sure if you can be nostalgic for the 80s unless you were alive in the 80s. :p But I have to say it did. I kind of wish I’d been alive in the 80s for all the video arcades. That died out before I was old enough.

      I’m also one of the crazy people who kind of likes the crazy 80s fashion, but I’m a little crazy myself. Haha!

      • I was just a little tyke in the 80s, but my family always seemed to be stuck a decade behind, so… yeah. LOL.

        I guess that’s its own question: Did it make the 80s seem cool to you?

        • Well, I’m not sure. The book doesn’t cover a wide variety of the 80s, but stays well within the realms of movies and video games. I can’t really say whether it makes the 80s seem cool since it gives such narrow insight on the decade. That, and I think most people reading likely have a predisposition for liking the 80s or video games. Otherwise, I can’t imagine the book being that appealing to them in the first place.

          • That’s true enough, but don’t people tend to focus on one or two aspects of a decade when they think about? (ie: 70s, bellbottoms, and drugs.)

            I wonder if anyone has read the book that just picked it up out of curiousity with no association with the 80s.

            • Mm. Good point! I would say that they do lean towards certain aspects and find those to be particularly nostalgic while ignoring the rest of it.

              That’s a good question. I’d be curious to know if anyone who doesn’t like the 80s picked it up and enjoyed it.

  3. If you listened to the audio book, what did you think of Wil Wheaton’s narration?

    I wasn’t a fan. I’m used to listening to narrators like R.C. Bray and Ray Porter which can do amazing things with their voices and completely suck you into their story. Wheaton’s narration …bored me.

    • Emily says:

      I loved Wil Wheaton’s narration but I started out a Wil Wheaton fan. I’ve read his books as self narrated audio books and I always think he does an awesome job. That being said, he doesn’t do as many voices or production value as some audio books I’ve listened to, so I can see your point.

  4. Emily says:

    My opinion hasn’t changed. I feel like Ready Player One is exactly what it sells itself as. It might not be the book for everyone because it does rely very heavily on nostalgia. However its just a fun read.

    Do you think that nostalgia isn’t enough to sell a book?

  5. How far away are we from a workable Oasis system in our current state? DO you think it’ll ever actually happen? That we’ll have an all inclusive VR?

    • You mean how far away are we from having a fully immersive video game? I think we’re quite a ways away from that still considering we’re just getting close to virtual reality video games. I think we have a long ways to go. What’s more, I think we need to really look into the consequences of such a system.

      I mean, there are constant warnings among pop culture of the possible side effects, such as explained in ‘Sword Art Online’. Having one’s consciousness within a machine is just… too much risk, in my opinion.

      • I kind of agree with you. I mean, the full body immersion thing leaves you completely vulnerable to the world around you and slow to react to real dangers and things.

        I DO think, however, that some version of it is closer than we might thing. The basics of the technology is there. I mean, look at the thought/muscle twitch controlled prosthetic limbs, for example. The pressure sensitive response electronics we already have.

        The integration of so many apps and such.

        • Actually, I was less talking about the real world and more the ability for someone to hack into the system and take control of your mind or kill you via the game by linking your brain activity to the game system. That kind of thing is what would keep me from ever entering such a game, no matter how cool it seemed.

          Mm. That is true, but I think there is a difference between someone having the ability to connect their mind with an attached limb and the ability to connect multiple minds and consciousnesses within a single system. What if there was a lag? What kind of an impact would that have on the mind?

      • Emily says:

        With the invention of the Oculus Rift, I’m not sure we are that far away from true virtual reality. However, the Oculus Rift hasn’t done that well in the mainstream market. I think the capability is there but it’s not something the general public actually wants.

        • Is it a want or an afford thing? I would LOVE to have a OR system, but there’s no way I can blow that much money on it.

        • Mm! I saw people testing this when I was at a con in Japan. It looked interesting, but all they were playing was like… wii tennis or something. Perhaps the creator of the oculus rift hasn’t combined with enough types of games to be interesting enough yet for gamers. After all, not all gamers like the same style. Or perhaps some of them just like the feel of a controller in their hand and the ability to eat, or drink or do something else while playing the game. I mean, if you’re in a virtual reality helmet, you basically have blinders on and you have to take your attention off the game when you want to do something else. You can’t use peripheral vision anymore.

  6. My biggest problem with Ready Player One, which full disclosure, I just finished today, is that, like The Hunger Games before it, it’s a fun idea that’s been done before. The whole time I read I kept thinking: My God, this is just like Tad Williams’ Otherland series on a less epic scale. What ruined the 80s vibe for me is that it came off like someone spouting off a Wikipedia page. If I could change anything about the book it would be that the 80s references be more organic, and less like the author showing off.

    • I haven’t read the other book you mention. How much new stuff is really out there any more though? (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.)

      I completely agree on the Wiki page comment though. He just carries the info dumping way way too far.

Talk to me!