Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 1 Chapter 0003 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 1, Chapter 0003 | Summary



Aech, Parzival's best friend, hosts the Basement chat room using money he makes from competing inside the OASIS. The chat room is a stand-alone simulation designed to look like a 1980s rec room. The friendship between Aech and Parzival is based on their shared "total, all-consuming obsession with Halliday and his Easter egg." They enjoy a mutual respect and a friendly rivalry.

In the Basement, Aech and Parzival play vintage video games and argue about 1980s movies. An obnoxious gunter named I-r0k appears and tries to join in. I-r0k attempts to one-up them by bringing out an old video game he believes is arcane, but Parzival and Aech surprise him by already knowing about it. Parzival asks Aech why he hangs out with I-r0k, and Aech replies, "[His] ignorance gives me hope."


Although Aech is more successful than Parzival in the OASIS, he treats Parzival like an equal. Their preoccupation with and extensive knowledge of 1980s pop culture makes them intellectual peers. Both Aech and Parzival long to be the first to discover the egg, and the competition between them limits what they reveal to one another. The two friends have never met in real life, but their mutual obsession with the egg creates a strong bond. Both gunters take pride in their self-directed independence and share a mutual distaste for Sixers, clan members, and "poseurs" like I-r0k, who lack their knowledge of 1980s pop culture. Aech views I-r0k as an average gunter, and I-r0k's relative ignorance gives Aech hope that he, Aech, is knowledgeable enough to find the egg.

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