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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Friends Online

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

2011

Link

2017-12-24

Finished this book. Primarily, it's -- as someone said in the Goodreads comments -- nostalgia porn. The premise is, in a dystopia year 2044, a super-rich game dev placed an easter egg in a massively online multi-player game, which would make the winner heir to his fortune. It could only be won by someone with a similar singular interest in the gaming and geek culture of the 1980's, fueling a weird resurgence of interest.

Pretty good as an adventure story. I'm a bit younger than the intended audience, although I have studied computer history.

One of the major themes is the difference between an online persona and real-life, and the use of online (really more VR immersion) as escape from bleak existence.

As someone who spends a lot of time online, these are things I think about some. For example, when considering my university, it's pretty clear to me my budget won't compare to the cost of real estate for the foreseeable future, so it will be mostly online. I'm not quite poor like the protagonist Wade Watts, but I do work overnight which means I don't have a lot of opportunities to make friends offline.