In Ernest Cline’s novel, one can see a time frame which is set in the future- yet everyone seems to be obsessed with the past. The 80s culture (movies, music, pop culture, tv shows) has become the main cultural and social form for many characters in the book. The 80s became the trend because of Halliday’s obsession with the culture and his fan following (seemingly everyone in the book) started going back in time – this of course was only so they could find the egg. This obsession with the past, starts out as a need, but then, especially for the main character, becomes entertainment: “spiked hair and acid washed jeans were back in style… a new subculture was born.” The reader, in this novel, is put into three states of time in this novel- the past, the present and the future.
The novel is set in 2045, the reader is reading it in his present time – for me being 2013 and the characters in the novel are fluctuating between the past and the present. Another concept which I would like to bring up is the concept of immortality. Immortality is a big thing in this novel, mainly because this theme is popular in gaming. In video games, players have many lives, if the character dies he is regenerated and one can continue or start the game all over again. Anorak, the character of James Halliday, is forever immortal in OASIS- he is seen around the virtual world and because he has sparked this new subculture and egg hunt, he is the topic of discussion in this novel- making him immortal. In reality he is dead but his character in OASIS is very much alive- his creation is alive and gives other characters in the novel a reason to live. His egg hunt, even when it becomes an urban legend of sorts- still lives on. Cline seems to allude to the immortality present in gaming- when one lives in virtual world, one can live on forever.