The year is 2044, and things are not looking so great. Most of humanity is destitute, including overweight teenager Wade Watts, who lives with his aunt and hundreds of other people in “the stacks,” long rows of mobile homes stacked on top of one another and precariously held together with scaffolding. Wade’s only recourse from the shitty regular world is the OASIS, a massive online game that he, like most of the rest of the global population, is jacked into for the majority of each day. Wade attends school in the OASIS, which is also home to some ten thousand planets, housing everything from offices to complete replications of scenes or environments from Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons and more.
The OASIS was created by James Halliday, a Steve Jobs-like genius whose love of his creation is matched only by his love of all things 1980s, a nostalgia that extends to any cultural artifact from the time: movies, music, comic books, videogames, etc. Upon his death, Halliday releases a video will that promises ownership of his company (and a $200+ billion fortune) to whoever can uncover an “easter egg” he’s buried in the game.Continue reading “Game on”