I know I am way behind over here, but I took my time finishing Ready Player One and I wanted to share some of my final thoughts of the novel. I said this in my last post, but I think it bears repeating that the OASIS is completely different from any game in existence, even games like WoW or HalfLife. It doesn’t really fall into any category of game that we have discussed in this course. It doesn’t fall under of McGonigal’s categories for what games are or should be used for and it contradicts a good amount of what Nardi explained about WoW.
The OASIS is so huge and so well integrated into society in Ready Player One that there are no comparisons that can be drawn to it. The game’s currency has become one with the real world currency and instead of a temporary release, it has become an alternate reality. A whole different universe that not only has different places, but its own laws of physics.
My interpretation of the book as a whole, and the way it ended specifically, is that Cline did not write this book with any middle ground between being completely immersed in technology and never using it at all. What game me this impression was the last line of the book, when Wade says he had no urge to go into the OASIS. This is after he spends the majority of the book emerged in the OASIS, coming out only when he really had to.
In terms of real life technology, I find myself between those two extremes, and I think most people would agree with me. Although I spend the majority of my day in front of a computer (especially this summer at my internship) I enjoy my time away from it on a different level then my time in front of it. Additionally, the time I spend in front of the computer is generally used for either honing some skill of mine, or keeping up with world events of some sort. I rarely emerge myself so deep into a screen as people in Ready Player One due. My main issue with the way the way the dystopian future is described in the book is because of the willingness people had to isolate themselves from the world and give up things like travelling. Obviously there were other motivations behind giving up travelling, but I don’t think thats a past time most people would give up easily, especially with how popular it has become.
The counter argument to my issue with the book, is Anorak’s final words to Wade, which are of course don’t give up the real world, because its real. And I think thats the lesson to be learned from this book. Not just that the real world is real, but that the OASIS is part of the real world. And when they are used in conjunction, you can reach a certain peak that is impossible when you interact in either exclusively.