Ready Player One

My husband and I are both geeks in our own rights, but we don’t geek in the same way. I am books, he is movies. I grew up in the 90s, and he is all 80s. Needless to say, our references just do not match up most of the time. We do a lot of side cocked glances at each other.

Every other day there is another movie he is referencing, then despairing because I have not seen it. Not only was I not born for most of his favorites–I also grew up in an all girl house, so even the 90s movies I really didn’t watch. We watched Disney movies and chick flicks, instead of the cult/geek classics.

However, my love of all things geek pushes me to absorb as much pop culture as possible. And so, the longer we are together, the more of his movies I am taking in. I watched the Ghostbusters a few weeks ago, that was interesting. Jurassic Park happened for obvious reasons (mmmm Jeff Goldblum). Jaws is next on the list. The references are coming!

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I need to get him to read Ready Player One. This is exactly the kind of book R would love. It has every single 80s reference imaginable–movies, music, games–ESPECIALLY games. The whole thing is set in a futuristic MMO world. I didn’t get most of the references made, but the way everything was set up, I just loved the geek. I understand why this book is making the rounds!

It’s a little Big Brotherish, with the IOI swooping in to take over everything. However, I really liked some of the concepts–especially the online school set up. The enthusiasm of the teachers, and the technology-based curriculum just sounded really amazing. One thing I do want to question here though–Parzival’s schooling just kind of drops off. At the beginning he’s worried about the consequences of being expelled, and then after the game starts ramping up, he just stops showing up. There are no repercussions, and no one from school seems to miss him. We just forget that he left in the middle of the school year.

This isn’t the first book I’ve read in this type of MMO situation. I read James Dashner’s The Eye of Minds and was not impressed at all. It had a similar concept–teenage boy hacking/moving around in a computer simulation and trying to beat the evil corporation. Ready Player One, published two years previous, is definitely the stronger book. Maybe it is just more fun, with the gaming concept and geek references. It’s a bit more lighthearted of a YA novel, than Dashner’s conspiracy dystopia. There is definitely a comparison to be drawn though.

Have you read them both? Do you have a preference?

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Cupcakes

I really lucked out with my Cupcakes theme. Whodathunk, in the middle of a video game dystopian thriller, there would be a bear serving cupcakes? Thanks James Dashner! It was the one thing that made The Eye of Minds worth the read! Haha.

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And in case you think I’m kidding. Here’s the quote:

“To Michael’s right, a huge black bear, bald spots covering its chest, was leaning over to pick up a tray of cupcakes from a serving window that led into a kitchen. A bear. With a tray. Of cupcakes. Michael had to remind himself that it was okay–anything was possible inside the VirtNet.”

See–even the protagonist didn’t believe it!

 

 

WWW Wednesday

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What are you currently reading?

Rising Sun by Michael Crichton (completely coincidental to my blog post this morning)

Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

White Apples and the Taste of Stone by Donald Hall

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

I just started both of the books in my top list, so I haven’t picked what is up next! We’ll see! I have a George Washington spy book that’s next on my library list, which would normally be what I would go to, but I just bought an awwwwwwwwwwwful lot of books lately….

The Eye of Minds

Let me say, first of all, that I am not a gamer. Unless you count N64 Goldeneye, and the occasional bout of Wii Mariocart. I don’t exactly possess a strong hand/eye coordination factor.

Plus, if I have free time, I’d much rather spend it behind a book than a controller.

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Because of this, I didn’t care much for James Dashner’s new series starter, The Eye of Minds. After reading The Maze Runner, I was psyched to see he had a new series beginning, but this one is definitely not my cup of tea. Coding and portals…that is not my language. And while I could picture the “coffins” (they were very Avataresque for me), I would personally NOT want to live in a video game for 90% of my life. Nope. No thanks. Again, if I’m going to live in an alternate reality, it’s going to be imagined, not virtual.

This was a skimmer, and the only reason I stuck with it for the whole of the book was because of the author. I kept hoping I would get hooked at some point, and that just never happened.

Bummer for me.