There was a time when being a nerd or geek was a social penalty. You know what I am talking about.
If anyone caught you playing Dungeons and Dragons then you were considered a geek and uncool and well…the odds of you getting laid were as high as winning the lottery.
I know because I was one of them. I grew up in the 90’s watching the powerpuff girls, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z when it was still fresh. Yeah, the 90’s were great. And despite all nerdy entertainment that had made its way to day time telelvision and then a midnight session for more “adult cartoons,” being a geek was still consider odd, weird, bizarre, uncool and just plain old unfuckable (Yes that is right I used that word).
Nerds and geeks had it rough all throughout the 70’s (despite the popularity of Star Wars and Star Trek). All throughout the 80’s and 90’s. But we began to see the light in the 2000’s thanks to you guessed it, THE INTERNET.
You see if it wasnt for the internet, nerds all around the world would still be the same old anti-social outcast that modern society labeled us to be. With the internet geeks have become unstoppable. Although Comic-Conn existed since 1970, being a geek was still considered uncool. But then as the 2000’s started climbing with the internet age and all these cool gadgets, followed by the success of super hero movie (Spiderman in 2002). Closet geeks started to show themselves and their love for anime, cartoons, comic books and much more.
While the superhero movies were such as Iron Man and started to take over the world of Cinema, more and more people saw nerd culture as something to be proud of. Especially in North America. And those who were Alpha geeks (You know, the once that go over board with cosplaying and turning their bedroom into a nerd sanctuary) were getting more respect. But lets not forget about the contribution of video games in this mix. The evolution of video games in nerd culture along with cartoons, comic books and even anime was as common as breathing. Even the jocks in school show love for the super hero movies. Even people who made fun of nerds and geeks still hit the theaters to catch the next super hero film (Thats right I am looking at you Avengers).
So why do I continue to blabber about the rise of nerd culture you might be wondering? Well, the truth is that it makes me happy and proud. After reading Ready Player One, I was absolutely stunned that Steven Spielberg decided to make a movie out of it. Seriously.
Ready Player One Book Review
This book shows the progress of nerd culture. Ernest Cline to his love for video games and 70’s and 80’s pop culture and wrote a book that he wanted to read. Great job my man. Ready Player One has to be the best book I have read in 2017. If yo have followed this blog, you know well that I am a writer. I write epic fantasy . I have been buying books since early 2017 and have not finished any of them until I found Ready Player One. Now, I already knew about the book since back in January of 2017. However, I was ignoring. Around the same time I discovered a new literary genre called LitRPG, which was short for Literary Role Playing Game.
I was doing some research on the genre and I found out that it was invented by some Russian writers. However, the idea of writing this type of story was inspired by none other than one of my favorite anime, Sword Art Online aka SAO.
Thats right dudes. When I found this out I was stunned. I felt like was missing out on something big here like when I first found out about anime conventions back in 2011. The genre already had a large following (but apparently not large enough for Amazon.com to list the category). Anyways, I read a couple of LitRPG novels and while some of them were good, most of them suck and were usually repetitive. Then I saw the trailer of Ready Player One and decided to read the book before the movie came out and OH BOY! I was hooked.
Why I believe Ready Player One became so popular?
The main reason why most of us love Ready Player One is because of all the video game and pop culture references from the 70’s and 80’s. Sure that is true, but there is something much deeper than within it than our love for nerd culture.
Whether if you like to admit it or not, we feel for Wade Watts living in the stacks. Which is basically a ghetto. Not only is he poor, but both his parents died and his is now being looked after by his aunt whom he is really not closed with. His only hope to permanently get out of the ghetto is finding Halliday’s three keys hidding inside the virtual reality world of OASIS.
Sure, this story takes place in the future but as geeks, we can all relate to Wade (Parzival). The stereo typical nerd living in their parents basement. Right. In this case, is the ghetto.
Wade is the first dude to find the first key inside OASIS after years and years of millions, if not, billions of people trying to find key with the clue that the creator of the game left behind.
I dont usually read books that are written in first person perspective but this one was absolutely breath taking. I felt connected to Wade and his friend. His love interest, Art3mis, going on his first date and all. It brings me to my nerdy high school days. This is where Ready Player One truly wins the hearts of its readers.
I love how Wade knew so much about the 70’s and 80’s (Because that is what the creator of the game based OASIS on). He dedicated his life into stuying everything about James Halliday so that he can find the three keys and become the owner of OASIS and get that billion dollar award.
What I like about this book is that although the focus is on Wade, it never gets boring and it keeps you on your toes. I found my self addicted to the book wondering how this mother fucker was going to find that key. I was so invested in the story that when Wade started slacking after he escaped that stacks, he became lazy and distracted. While he was slacking off instead of focusing on finding the keys to the reward, his crush Art3mis found the second key and his other friends got ahead of him.
I dont want to give away too much of the book but all I have to say is that you will become emotionally invested into Wade.
Also if you are a nerd like me you wont be able to put this book down, I promise you.
Ready Player One deserves to be in theaters and the author of this book deserves every dollar he makes off the book. He has attacked the topic of a possible future in the real world. Virtual reality is on the rise along with Artificial Intelligence. These are (in my opinion) a threat to humanity.
In the book, OASIS, the virtual reality world, people get to escape from their struggles of life such as extreme poverty, famine, over population, energy crisis, global warming and much more. Plugging into OASIS people get a certain kind of luxury without being wealthy. They can go to school in OASIS, find a job and a lot more stuff. There is so much to do in OASIS. You can become popular.
And there lies the problem with virtual reality. As much as I love video games. When you replace the real world with a virtual world, you are ignoring the problems of the real world and not doing something to fix them. I love
video games, dont get me wrong, eventually you will have to come back to reality and face the truth.
Quote from the book
“Standing there, under the bleak fluorescent of my tiny one room apartment there was no escaping the truth. In real life, I was nothing but an antisocial hermit. A recluse. A pale skinned pop culture obsessed geek. A agoraphobic shut in, with no real friends, family or genuine human contact. I was just another sad, lost, lonely soul, wasting his life on a glorified videogame. But not in OASIS. In there, I was the great Parzival.”