Jan 29th, 2012 by Lisa
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
|Ready Player One
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours in the OASIS, a virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be. Somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of puzzles that will yield massive fortune to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the 1980′s pop culture he loved. And then Wade solves the first riddle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. Adapted from Randomhouse.com
Book Club Ideas
I don’t think Ernest Cline overlooked a single 1980′s memory that I have. To get some quick ideas to use as inspiration for your book club, check out Ready Player One pages 62-63 for authors, movies, TV shows and music from the 80′s.
It was the search for a video game Easter egg that led the characters on their adventures in the online world known as the OASIS. Those searching for the egg had to find 3 keys-Copper, Jade and Crystal- to open gates. A little spray paint can help the keys below represent those in Ready Player One. Other objects involved in the search for the egg (without giving away to many clues away) include a whistle, a gold chalice, and, of course, an egg. The egg that was found was silver, but this dragon egg would be a fun decoration.
The decorations could also by inspired by the many video games that were mentioned in the book. The video games include Dungeons and Dragons, Galaga, Defender, Asteroids, Tron, Joust, Space Invaders, Combat, Pitfall and Tempest. Many of these games involve either dragons or spaceships. And I wanted to include one last decoration suggestion – Ultraman.
The most fun Parzival (Wade’s avatar) had ever had in his life was when he got on stage to act out The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I have some great memories of this as well For Rocky Horror Picture Show memorabilia, click here to visit Amazon.com.
You can dress as your favorite John Hughes character. I love how Mr. Cline divided the movies into “Dorky Girl Fantasies” (Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful) and “Dorky Boy Fantasies” (The Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).
Or take inspiration from the coolest rocker of them all – Pat Benatar.
Take a trip down memory lane and have each member of your book club bring pictures of themselves from the 80′s. Give a prize, such as the golden chalice with an egg inside of it, for the person who rocked the 80′s look the best.
After discussing the book, pop some popcorn and enjoy an 80′s flick. Some of the movies mentioned in the book include Heathers, Ladyhawke, Goonies, Real Genius, WarGames, Tron, Risky Business, Revenge of the Nerds, Back to the Future, Blade Runner and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Or watch reruns of old shows. Two of my favorites were Family Ties and Silver Spoons.
Ah, the music. “In Your Eyes”, “Dead Man’s Party”, “Dancing with Myself”, “Wild Boys”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”…all great songs that bring back so many memories. But the album that played the biggest role in the book was 2112 by Rush.
Book Club Menu
|In a bar scene in Ready Player One, Parzival ordered a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, a drink invented by a character in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This Melon Martini recipe can be used to make your drinks. Art3mis ordered Glenmorangie, a favorite drink of 1980′s icon Connor MacLeod, also know as The Highlander.|
You can take any round food item and turn it into a Pac-Man, such as this cheese Pac-Man with turkey cocktail sausages and Pac-Man pizza.
You could also use cookie cutters to make Pac-Man cookies
For an 80′s inspired cake, check out this one from Sugar Siren. So creative!
Book Club Resources
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 4.3 stars (10,057 ratings)|
|Amazon: 4.5 stars (567 ratings)|
|LibraryThing: 4.31 stars (89 ratings)|
|My Rating: 4.5 stars. This book was a wonderful walk down memory lane in the futuristic setting of a fast-paced, suspenseful online world. I listened to it on audio and Wil Wheaton is an excellent narrator. Although video gamers would truly identify with this novel, I would recommend Ready Player One to anyone.|
- What were some of your favorite 80′s references from the book? What about memories from your own life during this decade? Which 80′s tune brought back memories for you? What was your favorite sitcom? How about your favorite Schoolhouse Rock episode?
- Do you think the online public school depicted in Ready Player One could be an effective way to teach? What would be the benefits? What problems could arise?
- How accurate, do you think, is the portrayal of the future? Discuss the virtual world, the energy crisis, the stacked trailers.
- Would you enjoy living in an online world like the OASIS? How could things be better? How could they be worse?
- If you were Wade (Parzival) would you have taken the risks he took for the benefit of others? Did you find him an admirable character? What were his flaws?
Purchase Ready Player One at your favorite bookseller
|Photo by Dan Winters||Ernest Cline has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone. His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture fulltime as a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His 2009 film Fanboys, much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon. These days Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, their daughter, and a large collection of classic video games. READY PLAYER ONE is his first novel. ~Randomhouse.com|
Personal Insights, Favorite Quotes, etc…
This book was a wonderful walk down memory lane. As I was reading I went to YouTube several times to relive some of those memories and I found my favorite Schoolhouse Rock episode:
Do you have any other ideas or recipes for a book club party for Ready Player One? We would love to have you share them with us! You can leave a comment below and upload pictures as well.
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