The Lariat

Ready Player One

Oscar Mendez, reporter

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With works of fiction, taking place in dystopian societies, become the norm in popular media, how do they stack when faced against each other? With different upbringings, endings, inner workings, and norms in each story there are a handful of factors that work together to bring a new crumbling world to life inside of the mind of each reader.

With cases of near human sacrifice in tales like that of The Hunger Games, and destruction of books for mind numbing television in Fahrenheit 451, these dystopias bring a certain charm with them that entice the minds of curious readers. “If this and this happened, then maybe…” begins to fester in the back of readers minds, reeling them in and feeding their interests.

It’s with these types of worlds that the book Ready Player One used to reel me, and others alike, into a world with more issues than our own. It provides an escape that proves stunningly similar yet vastly more expansive than our very own Internet.

The dystopia that is present in Ready Player One is focused around our current issues, though to a larger degree, with major food and water shortages, brink of multiple wars, and most notably a world energy crisis. Throughout the series its repeated and enforced that the world has entered the world that we are currently fearing today, terrible economy, starvation, and aggressive leaders.

Yet despite the constant reinforcement of this information, the world’s problems don’t seem to impact the main character in any major way besides being brought up in impoverished

conditions. With the supposed main issue in the world being an energy crisis, our main character has no issues pursuing his goal with fully accessible Wi-Fi, and while it could be argued that the world revolves around the OASIS, this world’s escape from reality, there would be no need to provide functional and accessible Wi-Fi to an undeveloped area, i.e. the area he lives in. Even later on in the story he’s affected even less and less by the world, and, as a result, we see less of the world and its issues as well.

Despite the lack of shown world problems, they are still in the story, and perhaps the best way it’s shown that they are indeed there, is through the escape that most of the worlds population indulges in. The OASIS is a VR type world that has taken the real world by storm, only costing a quarter for lifetime membership for the entire worlds recorded history, be it games, videos, movies, books, constitutions, or songs, it’s all inside the OASIS and at your fingertips.

Most of the population is integrated into the OASIS system, and surprisingly it isn’t a corrupting plot to enslave the world, it was merely created to provide escape to the people of the world from their problems. Like our own Internet, the OASIS has enraptured the population and allows people to work jobs online, in more direct and quick ways than outer Internet.

For a deeper view into the dystopia and the OASIS, pick up a copy of Ready Player One, and for those movies goers the film adaptation is set to come out March 30.

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Ready Player One