Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
I’m not a gamer. I lack the commitment to put my nose to the grindstone and earn my XP, whether it’s at the tabletop, behind consoles, or at cons. I don’t actually like playing videogames at all. But I respect gamers, fans, LARPers, and other el33t, because I respect anyone creative, mulishly intellectual, and into making the world more fun.
Ernest Cline gets me in that squee, right in my greedy geeky innards.
His plot is standard-issue stuff. Immersive videogaming is the only thing worth living for amidst catastrophic poverty! Spirited, relatable outcasts fight corporate thugs on a quest to win control of the game!
I ignored the deus ex machinas and clunky exposition as I basked in Cline’s impeccably-researched hot tub of geekdom. A Battlestar Viper can park alongside a DeLorean, a TARDIS, and a Gundam. Order a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster or step in as live-action PacMan. Easter Eggs are everywhere, and anyone with True Passion and Research Skills can unlock swag and priceless rewards.
Cline’s indulging in some serious wish fulfillment, but who can deny him when he does it with such genuine joy? Basically, this punky paean to all things pop culture is the literary equivalent of a fistful of Pop Rocks and a Big Gulp. I guzzled it down.
The 213 in 2013 series chronicles every book I read in 2013. Each review contains exactly 213 words, because 2013 words is too long and 2013 characters is too dang short.