Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 3 Chapter 0030 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 3, Chapter 0030 | Summary



Wade works in a cubicle at IOI's Technical Support Call Center. His computer access is monitored and restricted to a limited portion of the IOI intranet. Wade's job involves helping OASIS users solve menial problems. Because he keeps falling asleep during his shift, IOI gives him stimulant pills. He doesn't take the pills until after each shift when he retires to his "tiny plastic coffin" in the Indent Hab area. Wade modifies his ear gear and the cameras in his sleeping capsule so he can't be monitored when he turns the lights off. He spends each night hacking into the company's intranet from the sleeping capsule's entertainment console.

Earlier on, Wade had purchased "a set of IOI intranet passwords from ... [a] black-market data auction site," thinking they might come in handy at some point. When he arrives at Castle Anorak seeking the Third Gate and discovers the Sixers have erected an impenetrable shield around the castle, he conceives of his current plan. Wade hacks into his own financial records (the records of his assumed identity Bryce Lynch) to create a false debt to IOI, knowing it would lead to his indentured servitude at IOI headquarters; this in turn would give him access to the company's intranet. Then he could use the passwords he purchased to hack into the classified part of the intranet and find a way to destroy the shield.

Using the passwords, Wade gives himself admin privileges on the IOI intranet and explores the Sixers' private database. He copies what he finds, including an extensive file on James Halliday and information about the Orb of Osuvok, to a flash drive he acquired by means of "a bogus hardware requisition form." He watches footage of the Sixers attempting to open the Third Gate and repeatedly failing, as "simply inserting the Crystal Key into the keyhole had no effect."

He sees a folder labeled "Threat Assessments"; it contains subfolders for himself (the real Wade and his avatar Parzival), Art3mis, Aech, Shoto, and Daito. He looks through each folder, learning more about who Art3mis and Shoto are in real life. Aech's folder contains little information, but when Wade opens Daito's folder, he finds video footage of Daito's murder. Opening a "Mission Status" folder, Wade learns that just hours before, Sorrento issued orders to abduct and then murder Art3mis and Shoto. Knowing he must warn them, Wade alters his plan and decides to escape IOI headquarters at dawn.


Wade is aware of the risk he is taking by becoming an indentured servant at IOI. Although he is anxious, he goes through with his plan. His obsession with Art3mis gives him a reckless courage, and he will do whatever it takes to prevent the Sixers from winning the contest.

Wade's stint as an indentured servant at IOI headquarters is merely the latest iteration in his journey of personal transformation. He begins as a poor, bullied, lonely kid living in the stacks and a slightly more confident student within the OASIS, stuck on planet Ludus. From there he becomes the quest's top gunter, acquiring fame, money, and a "pseudo-girlfriend." He moves from a junked cargo van to a high-rise apartment outfitted with high-tech security and computing equipment. He erases all records of his identity as Wade Watts and transforms himself into the fictional Bryce Lynch.

For a time, Wade shuns the real world entirely, but he reemerges to infiltrate IOI headquarters, not to win the contest himself but to stop the Sixers. His plan changes when he learns his friends are in trouble. Despite his ideological commitment to independent questing, he is now part of an informal alliance of top gunters, and his loyalty to them is now paramount. The quest propels each of Wade's transformations. At every turn, his thorough, obsessive nature pushes him to go after what he wants.

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