In the future, gaming and 80s trivia can make you a billionaire.
In the near future, the country has fallen to shambles, and people live almost entirely in the OASIS, the virtual world that’s free to play and access. Work, school, play–it’s all in the OASIS. It’s much better than the real world anyway. The creator of OASIS, Halliday, has died and left behind a message saying he hid an Easter egg in OASIS–find it, and inherit all his billions of dollars and ownership of the virtual world. People scramble to find it, but fail, and eventually the Easter egg is all but forgotten, except by the hardcore gamers, called “gunters” (short for “egg hunters”) and the greedy Sixers, who want the Easter egg to monetize the OASIS and turn it into a corporate wasteland. Because Halliday was a huge 80s nut, one must possess a thorough database in their head of the most obscure 80s trivia in order to have even the remotest chance at finding the egg. One lowly gunter, too poor to travel anywhere or level very high, suddenly figures out the one vague clue Halliday left, and the race is on for the future of OASIS.
This book was made for me. It’s full of geeky references, 80s references, and features a main character who is playing the ultimate video game. The creator of the book’s virtual world was the exact same age as me. So everything he grew up with, I grew up with. It’s nostalgia heaven. But for some reason, the book just didn’t blow me away.
I think it was the writing style. It felt incredibly simplistic, like sixth grade reading level. Also, the constant 80s references started to feel forced or generated by the Rando-80s-Ref-o-Meter. I dunno. I did like some of them, like Zork was pretty cool. I really should run through that game again just to see what happens. I never beat it because I would get stuck in the maze and my lamp would go out, and then I’d be eaten by a grue.
I tried talking it out with one of my friends so that I could pinpoint what it was about the book, but I think it was just the author’s voice. That, and I didn’t really bond with any of the characters.
Still, it wasn’t a terrible read. Just not up to the hype I had been hearing about in the geek world.