Book Review: Ready Player One

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Book Review: Ready Player One

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 2nd, 2017, 11:32 am

I just finished reading this book after a lot of recommendations. When it comes to subject matter, this one falls right into my wheelhouse. The book is a celebration of the 80's (which I lived thru) with a strong emphasis on video games.

But the book really didn't resonate with me. Maybe I was too close to the subject matter?

I think the VR element was kind of a turn off. You guys know how I hate technology, and a dystopian future with everybody wearing headsets is not appealing to me.

Also, I thought the main character was a little too perfect in his knowledge of the 80's. Mastering one arcade game is believable, but this guy seemed to have ALL of them down. And I have a lot of favorite movies from the 80's, but none where I know the dialog by heart. This guy knew them all. A little hard to swallow.

Still, it wasn't terrible, as evidenced by the fact I got through the book. I think the upcoming Spielberg film based on this could be really spectacular. This is one case where the movie could be a lot better than the book, as the effects could be off the charts. If nothing else, it should have a catchy soundtrack.

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Re: Book Review: Ready Player One

Postby Stalvern » September 2nd, 2017, 4:17 pm

I don't have a lot of respect for Ready Player One. It's basically a catalog of things that you're supposed to recognize and feel excited about purely because somebody mentioned them in a book. Holy crap, Joust AND the DeLorean? The Last Starfighter on Betamax? Zork??! Stop or I'm gonna cream my pants! I picked the book up a few years ago and only made it partway in before I got sick of it. I like "2112" as much as the next guy, but I don't need this kind of pandering when I can just listen to the actual song instead of reading about how much some fictional character also likes it in a world where liking "2112" is one of the most important qualities you can have (along with liking Monty Python, Star Wars, and anything else that you might find on someone's T-shirt at Comic-Con).

The movie is going to be better because it won't have a narrator droning on and on for pages about what makes Pac-Man glitch out on the 256th maze (thanks, Wikipedia!) or explaining the premise of Blade Runner in patronizing detail (even though anyone who's reading Ready Player One at all is guaranteed to have seen it), but I'm not especially confident that it'll be good just because Spielberg's making it. What does he have to work with here? The story and characters are so corny and insubstantial (because Ernest Cline cares about them maybe a tenth as much as he cares about Ferris Bueller's Day Off) that the only way they'll be worth watching is if the whole thing is played as a ridiculous farce. Going by the trailer (and by the fact that it's, you know, Spielberg), that isn't going to happen.

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Re: Book Review: Ready Player One

Postby GTS » September 4th, 2017, 11:47 am

I'm surprised to hear you say that you hate technology, given the fact that you've been running a website about electronic devices for over 10 years. I'm looking forward to the movie, especially since I live in Columbus where it takes place.

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