Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 1 Chapter 0012 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 1, Chapter 0012 | Summary

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Summary

Wade Watts awakes to find Art3mis has also cleared the First Gate. He turns on the news and learns he and Art3mis are hot topics. He changes the channel to an interview with Ogden Morrow, James Halliday's business partner. Morrow tells the news reporter that Parzival and Art3mis's talking to "the vultures in the media" would not be a smart move. He expresses contempt for Innovative Online Industries and the Sixers, referring to IOI as a "fascist multinational conglomerate."

As the narrator reveals in a flashback, Morrow was married to a woman named Kira Underwood, who died in a car accident in 2034. The two met in high school when she joined their Dungeons & Dragons group. Halliday also had a crush on Underwood; she gave him the name Anorak. Morrow and Underwood began dating, and Underwood worked as an employee of Gregarious Games. They married after the OASIS was launched. Morrow soon left the company, calling the OASIS "a pleasant place for the world to hide from its problems." Halliday and Morrow also had a mysterious falling-out.

On a video call with Parzival, Aech reveals he is standing at the entrance to the Tomb of Horrors. He knew it was on Ludus since Parzival was able to get there. Aech is worried I-r0k will also connect the dots and tell others about the location of the tomb, making it common knowledge. After Parzival receives a friendly e-mail from Art3mis, he begins to have trouble concentrating on the Jade Key clue.

Analysis

When Morrow says Parzival and Art3mis would be stupid to talk to the media, Wade feels Morrow is giving him a direct, personal warning. Morrow is in a better position than anyone to know the location of the Easter egg, but he keeps up a pretense of ignorance to protect himself. For Wade this is further proof of the game's seriousness. However, he can no longer guard the tomb's secrecy: foolish I-r0k, in his egotistical desire to be the bearer of important news, will disseminate the information without considering the consequences.

Morrow sees IOI and the Sixers as serious threats to the OASIS. Since they have entered the contest, "the very soul of the OASIS is at stake." Halliday intended for the game to be played by scrappy individuals, not huge corporations with unlimited resources. Morrow expresses contempt for the powerful IOI corporation. It is clear that IOI and the Sixers, rather than the other individual gunters or clans, are Parzival and Art3mis's real opponents.

In his conversation with Aech, Parzival continues to walk the line between helping his friend and using secrecy to protect his own advantage. Both Aech and Parzival want to win the contest on the strength of their own abilities, but it is becoming increasingly clear that their destinies in the contest are intertwined, regardless of what they do. Art3mis and Parzival also blur these lines when they start e-mailing each other. Parzival is in danger of losing his focus because of his feelings for Art3mis.

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