Ready, Steady, Go: Ready Player One and the celebration of nostalgia

I just started reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and so far, I’m enjoying the possibilities in it.

The book is organized into 2 levels with multiple chapters within each level. I’m currently still in Level 1, Chapter 5. Despite the setting of a near-future Earth, I don’t feel like it’s too sci-fi-y. In all honesty, it almost feels like a Neal Stephenson book, in the style of writing. Parts of it feel like it could be lifted from Snow Crash, which I have yet to finish too (maybe I should get on that….). That being said, I don’t think this will be part of the pantheon of sci-fi writing at all – it feels too…normal. Nothing is outlandish, everything feels like it could happen, it’s great!

I was side-eyeing the book though, when the history of GSS was being discussed…it felt almost like a word for word description of the founding of Apple. As inspiration, he definitely could have done worst but, at the same time, be a bit more original! I just needed to change the names to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and it was Apple.

I’m really looking forward to finishing this book, mainly because I love, love, love seeing games, simulations, virtual environments, AR, being discussed in a book as part of normal society and not some sort of fringe element. I hope that the rest of the book continues as it’s been so far.

What I really can’t wait for (especially since it’s too early to tell right now) is the element of nostalgia that really drew me to this book. Nostalgia is always such an interesting thing – why do we venerate things that have passed? Why do we only pick out the most interesting elements of the past and hold them up on a pedestal? I’m totally a perpetrator for nostalgia – I always look back fondly at the past. At least in Ready Player One, there is a reason – they need to become well-versed with the past to unlock the secrets of a game.

I’m very excited to finish this book. Here’s hoping it’s as good as I’m building it up to be!

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