I first heard about Ready Player one from a podcast I listen to. They do a monthly book club, where the two hosts listen to a book on Audible, and then they discuss the book. They LOVED the book. They had this amazing discussion about the book and a lot of great questions. About six months later the movie came out and they HATED it. I went into our Ready Player One book club super excited to see what kind of discussion we might have and what their reaction would be to our usual book and a movie night.
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Ready Player One
Ready Player One is a dystopian world, but we don’t know what the apocalypse is. The big thing is everyone has escaped into OASIS because the real world is so disappointing. Wade Watts is racing against all of the other people searching to find the keys to the OASIS. The first person to find all of the keys becomes the owner of the OASIS and the virtual ruler of the world.
Our Ready Player One book club discussion
My kids did not like Ready Player One. This cemented their dislike of dystopias. Which I found rather hilarious because I’m pretty sure this is the first dystopian they’d read.
Maybe they’d heard about them elsewhere.
Their dislike centered on the complete lack of hope any character had.
It’s true. I hadn’t thought about it, Wade oozes hopelessness. Even at the end of the book, there isn’t much ope. Escape into the OASIS and hope for a better life there.
So, our discussion detoured into why no one was doing anything to change the real world. Why people were willing to live in a situation like that.
It actually reminded me of one of the Pendragon books, Reality Bug, where everyone escapes into a virtual reality world. Actually, I should check to see if our library has that as an audiobook because Batman would probably enjoy that.
At this point, we sidetracked into what people use to distract themselves from life. We talked about how people now use a wide variety of things, and video games is an easy scapegoat, but people use sports, drugs, drinks, and more to distract themselves from a hard situation.
From there we segued into a discussion about holodecks and how virtual reality is portrayed in Star Trek, and their episodes on addiction to virtual reality.
Our discussion ended with them all agreeing they liked the virtual world of Omnitopia Dawn better, and they thought it sounded much more enjoyable than the Oasis. With all of them talking about how much more they would rather read that book. Sadly Diane Duane never wrote a sequel to that book, despite there being a sequel hinted.
At this point I couldn’t even remember whatever it was I originally wanted to talk about, but we’d had a good couple of hours discussion riding in the car about the book.
Ready Player One book club Snacks
This one was tricky because there are lots of pop culture references, but I don’t necessarily want to endlessly make all sorts of weird stuff, but I found a great list of suggestions on Reddit of all places (not where I’ve usually found ideas).
Since there are lots of pop culture type of foods mentioned, sometimes our snacks were literally me opening a box.
As always, the labels for the snacks are in my Subscriber page. You can get access to that when you join my email list (you’ll also get a coupon code to get the books made into movies bookmarks for free!)
- Pizza- Both Wade and James Halliday ate large amounts of pizza, of course we had to have pizza, these were bagel bites which I like, even though I know they’re not particularly good
- Keys- sugar cookies with different colored sugar sprinkles on them. I cut out a vague keylike shape in them
- Sixers- Sour Patch Kids to represent the faceless hordes of the “bad guy gunters”
- Captain Crunch- I was going to make these Captain Crunch Muddy Buddies, but totally forgot, so it was just a box of Captain Crunch cereal…
- Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch- donut holes
- Pac Man- sugar cookie circles with a wedge cut out, and a chocolate chip eye
- Visor- the kids all agreed Reeses Peanut Butter cups looked like the visors, I was perfectly happy to eat them
- Protein bars- because Wade survived on protein bars for awhile, so we grabbed a bunch of granola bars
- Glenmorangie the Original- an alcoholic drink mentioned in the book, so we grabbed some favorite sodas that looked vaguely alcoholic
- Burgertime burgers- sliders we made, because if we ate full sized burgers, we wouldn’t have room for all of the other snacks…
- Extra life- chocolate coins
And for amusement’s sake
And because this review of Ready Player One amuses me, I give you Dominic Noble’s review (I’m choosing not to also link to his review of the movie, because that one has quite a bit more cursing in it).
More Literary book and a movie fun
Officially on my books made into movies list, this is a 10th-grade book made into a movie. However, to go with my speculative fiction theme, we read this in 9th grade (check out our 9th-grade curriculum picks).