Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 1 Chapter 0005 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Course Hero. "Ready Player One Study Guide." June 14, 2017. Accessed September 21, 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 21, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ready-Player-One/.

Ready Player One | Level 1, Chapter 0005 | Summary

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Summary

Parzival attends his favorite class, Advanced OASIS Studies. The lesson is on James Halliday's life, and Parzival is more knowledgeable than his teacher.

James Halliday and Ogden Morrow met in junior high school when Morrow invited Halliday to play Dungeons & Dragons. At age 15 Halliday programmed his first video game, Anorak's Quest, which became a local hit and prompted Halliday and Morrow to open a company, Gregarious Games. Their company became a leader in the industry. Over the years, Halliday, the master programmer, grew more awkward and reclusive while charismatic Morrow skillfully handled the business end of the partnership. The two men became rich.

In December 2012 Gregarious Games became Gregarious Simulation Systems and launched the OASIS, which quickly changed the way people live. A lifetime subscription to the OASIS costs only 25 cents, but within the simulation, there is a large virtual economy where users use real money to purchase virtual real estate, finance building construction, and buy and sell virtual transportation as well as items ranging from clothing to weapons.

Analysis

Young James Halliday is bright and obsessively smart, but he is a loner by nature. His relationship with the more personable Ogden Morrow allows Halliday to become a success. Halliday's genius is in programming, and Morrow's is in marketing and business. Without Morrow to push him, it is likely Halliday's genius would have languished largely unnoticed. With the release of the OASIS, the collaboration between the two men fundamentally alters the way people live. The idea of collaboration is a major theme in the text, and the collaboration between Halliday and Morrow allows them to have a much greater impact on the world than they would have by working independently.

OASIS is an acronym for Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation. Ontology is the study of the nature of reality. Anthropocentric means regarding humans as the most important element of existence. The OASIS provides an alternate reality "at a time of drastic social and cultural upheaval." People are less limited in the OASIS than in their real lives. Money is a limiting factor, but inside the OASIS, people can teleport, travel at the speed of light, use magic, and build fabulous, unimaginable structures using just a bit of computer code. The OASIS is unaffected by the problems of disease, warfare, and energy production that define life on Earth. Its economy is essentially unlimited, unlike real-world economies. The OASIS offers people a chance to escape their lives and transform themselves while remaining anonymous, all for the price of a quarter—a typical Halliday nod to early coin-operated video games. It is no wonder "most of the human race now spent all of their free time inside a videogame."

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