Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 1 Chapter 0002 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Course Hero. "Ready Player One Study Guide." June 14, 2017. Accessed September 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ready-Player-One/.

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Course Hero, "Ready Player One Study Guide," June 14, 2017, accessed September 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ready-Player-One/.

Ready Player One | Level 1, Chapter 0002 | Summary

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Summary

Wade Watts attends a virtual high school located inside the OASIS on a planet called Ludus. Although everything from clothing to magical weapons is for sale inside the OASIS, Wade's avatar, Parzival, has few possessions. Items inside the OASIS cost real money, and Wade is poor. Wade designed Parzival to look like a slightly more handsome version of himself. Most people are fully anonymous inside the OASIS, but Wade's school has access to his personal data, so his teachers and peers know him as Wade rather than Parzival. After Wade graduates in a few months, his plan is to be a full-time gunter.

Walking down the hall of the school to his classroom, Parzival is teased about his avatar's clothing, but he mutes the bully after making a snappy comeback. He prefers school inside the OASIS to real-world school, where he was a constant target for bullying. When the public school system began enrolling students in OASIS-based schools due to overcrowding and financial strain, Wade transferred with great relief.

While waiting for his class to begin, Parzival checks the Hatchery, a gunter message board. Independent gunters on the board are highly critical of Sixers, gunters who are employed by the megacorporation Innovative Online Industries. IOI employs the Sixers because it wishes to control—and monetize—the OASIS. Like many gunters, Parzival thinks "by hiring an army of contract egg hunters, IOI was perverting the entire spirit of the contest." Collaboration in the quest is not limited to the Sixers. Many independent gunters have formed clans, agreeing to split the prize equally. Parzival prides himself on being a solo gunter.

Next, Parzival checks Arty's Missives, the blog of a solo female gunter named Art3mis. She details the hunt for the egg on her blog, and her witty, down-to-earth writing has made her a celebrity in gunter circles. Parzival has never met Art3mis, even in the OASIS, but he has a crush on her. While reading Arty's Missives, Parzival receives a message from his best friend, Aech, inviting him to hang out in Aech's chat room, the Basement.

Analysis

Just like in the real world, Wade's life inside the OASIS is limited due to his lack of funds. However, the OASIS provides Wade with both the protection of anonymity and the sense of community he is lacking in real life. Even though he is fiercely independent and in competition with other gunters, being a gunter gives Wade a sense of belonging. Prior to the contest, Wade was an outcast among his peers, who picked on him for his appearance. He still gets picked on inside the OASIS, but the simulation has advantages over the real world that make bullying easier to deal with. Inside the OASIS, he has a best friend and a crush, although he has never met them in real life and has no idea if they really are who they seem to be. Inside the OASIS, the self is malleable; being able to transform oneself is one of the simulation's great gifts.

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