Ready Player One

I’m not even really sure what this post is about anymore…this amazing book, or an indepth review of my life…

I was in a book shop a couple of weeks ago, when I came across this book called ‘Ready Player One’. The cover is what caught my eye, so I picked it up, checked out the synopsis…and instantly knew I had to read this book…

After just reading the initial prologue, I was mind blown. This book…WoW ūüėČ the characters are so easy to love, to relate to. And the bad guys are so easy to despise, you actually want bad things to happen to Sorrento, and the Suxors.

I’ve read this book 5 times, up to now. It’s that good. There’s so many fantastic classic games, TV shows, bands, films, people referenced…that you can’t help but just smile, and geekout. This author has done something very few authors can accomplish, he created this world through words alone, and made you feel like you’re a part of it. I’m not talking Middle Earth, or Hogwarts (Although, those places would actually be accessible within the OASIS…). While those places, and the books they belong in are truly amazing…Ernest Cline has created something, that I’m slightly¬†devastated¬†doesn’t truly exist.

The characters in this book too, they’re amazing. I found myself actually able to compare my friends, with Z’s friends, and to essentially fit my friends into the characters roles. My best friend, A, is Aech – dependable, solid, witty, FPS God,¬†excessive¬†amount of nerd knowledge. At first I cast myself in the role of Parzival…but shortly realised, that I was the Art3mis of my group…see…this book, has completely taken over my brain.

The descriptions, and the vast knowledge of all things “nerdy”, that Ernest Cline demonstrated in this book…yikes. He’s the sort of bloke I want to be friends with. I’ve read 1000’s of books, reading is my favourite past time (aside from gaming), but this is the only story that’s ever really dragged me in, made me unable to put the book down – until it was finished.

This book, in a sense, gives me hope…as I don’t feel like the only over imaginative gamer/nerd/browncoat, who sort of wishes she could just crawl inside her favourite game/book/TV show/film…and live in these fantastical worlds, just because real life isn’t always that fantastic.

When I was younger, I kept my “nerdyness” to myself – I never let anyone know about the comics, games, music, films, etcetc. that I loved. Simply because, I knew I would be made fun of…more than I already was. And…after being essentially bullied, and someone’s verbal punching bag at school, I could come home – and lose myself in a game of Altered Beast, Pac-Man or Space Invaders…then later in my life, I’d fall in love with a little blue hedgehog,¬†an Italian plumber, a purple dragon, an hooded assassin, an assault rifle toting Spartan, an insane AI that insisted I continue testing, a Shepherd in space, a blood mage, a Big Daddy, I became as obsessed with Soul Edge as Isabella Valentine…the list goes on, and on. Games gave me a release from the real world, in my game I was in charge…well, sort of.

Music always has been, and probably always will be my saving grace. Every monumental moment in my life, can be brought back to me, thanks to a certain song. Hearing a Slipknot song, reminds me of meeting Corey Taylor. Listening to Right Here In My Arms by HIM, transports me back to the Astoria, and into the arms of an old boyfriend. Whether I’m angry, sad, happy, excited…whatever, there’s a song to match my mood. When I was growing up, I listened to the chart music, and while it was okay, it never really meant anything to me. As I got older, I developed my own tastes, I realised that Black Sabbath are one of my favourite bands – whereas when I was younger, I’d shy away from heavier music, as it wasn’t ‘cool’.

All of my school life, I wanted to fit in, so very badly…but I never managed it. I never had many friends, and the few that I did have, weren’t good friends. They were people to sit next to, and perhaps ask to borrow a pen off…they weren’t people who cared about me, or were even remotely interested in me. I was invisible, unless someone felt like calling me names…

Then I turned 16. My extremely long, natural brown hair – was cut short, dyed red & purple, then styled into liberty spikes, and numerous facial piercings. I discovered anime, darkwave, instant messaging, the Winchester brothers, HIM, Discworld, a wacky desert island that still confuses the hell out of me, Billy Idol, the USG Ishimura, Azeroth, Murderdolls, the impending Zombie Apocalypse, Middle-Earth, Blade 2, the Roswell aliens, robots in disguise, a Doctor in a little blue box, Boogiepop, Rapture, a Firefly class spaceship and it’s oddball crew…and so many other things, that still make me grin. But best of all, I discovered the Internet, and then I discovered fandom – which always makes me feel like I’m really a part of something.

On the Internet, I wasn’t another nobody, I was ‘Heartagram’, ‘MuderDoll666JJ’, ‘RrrrriotGrrrrrl’, ‘BrownCoatPistoleer’…and many other embarrassing handles. Eventually I’d settle on ‘HerEvilRoyalty’. My online persona was fun, bubbly, happy-go-lucky, full of attitude, and mouthy…wordy. Whatever. I became a member of a very small (at the time) HIM forum, where I met the person who I now can’t really ever imagine not being a part of my life…Mikko. At the time he was going be the name ‘BrokenHeartagram’, as I had already taken ‘Heartagram’. When we first began interacting, it was¬†argumentative. We’d deliberately see what one another was posting, then go to the thread, and try to cause a fight. Trolling is the term now, I believe. Eventually we were asked (ordered), to take our disagreements to private messaging…so began 4 months of daily abuse, I found myself looking forward to his next message. After awhile, we just became friends. Now, we talk daily, he’s one of the most important people in my life, and I’ve never even met him.¬†The same can be said of Amber, well Amba. She’s very quickly became my best friend, online and off. She’s another one I can’t imagine being without.

I’ve sort of just went off on a tangent really, haven’t I…hmm…I suppose I’m trying to explain that this book reminds me a lot, of my life…without the OASIS, and epic battles part…sadly. I have an online life, that I quite often prefer to my real life…My ‘online’ friends are my friends, I run around dungeons with them, or shoot them – then run off laughing, I disclose some of my best kept secrets – because these people are like me…we’re the nerdy outcasts, who were ridiculed at school, and even at work – but online we’re accepted, we’re not made to feel like freaks. I have no problem saying the best friends I’ve ever had, and am ever likely to have – I met everyone of them online.

If you’ve read up to here, then thank you. The truth is, reading this book not only entertained me, but also made me feel like I was a part of something…it really did drag me into the OASIS. Which is probably why I’ll continue to read it, time and again. It’s just…amazing. It’s so original, well thought out…it’s an absolute must read. I’m not gonna do that¬†clich√© ‘it changed my life’, because it hasn’t. It’s just made me realise that my “nerdy obsessions”, aren’t just a form of entertainment, they’re my escapism from my life.

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