Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 1 Chapter 0004 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 1, Chapter 0004 | Summary



Signing out of the Basement chat room, Parzival attends his classes. School is better inside the simulation because it enables students to virtually experience the subject matter. Teachers find it easier to keep order there, too. Unlike many kids at his school, Parzival is too poor to afford transport away from planet Ludus. Stuck on Ludus, he is unable to earn XPs (experience points), so his avatar remains at a low level. He has tried to get an after-school job, but jobs are scarce in the Great Recession.

The OASIS is vast: it has 27 sectors, each 10 light-hours across and containing hundreds of planets. Each planet is populated by NPCs—nonplayer characters—controlled by artificial intelligence. Each sector functions according to different rules. Combat, magic, and technology may be permitted, depending on the sector.


For Parzival the unlimited possibilities of the OASIS are severely restricted due to his lack of funds. He thinks finding the Easter egg will require leaving Ludus, but he faces a conundrum: He doesn't have the money to leave Ludus, and even if he did, leaving would endanger his avatar. A low-level avatar such as his would be killed quickly in the more dangerous parts of the OASIS. He feels frustrated both in the OASIS and in real life.

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