1. The OASIS
becomes a part of daily life for users around the globe. What virtual
realms (Google, Facebook, iCloud) do you depend on? What is at stake in
the war against IOI, the internet service provider that wants to
overturn Halliday’s affordable, open-source approach? Is it dangerous to
mix profit and dependence on technology?
2. Explore the
question of identity raised in the novel. What do the characters’
avatars tell us about their desires and their insecurities? In reality,
does our physical appearance give false clues about who we really are?
How does Parzival, transformed into a celebrity gunter, become Wade’s
3. With a narrator who vividly captures the human
experience, Ready Player One delivers a world that is easy for us to
imagine. In the novel, what was at the root of the grim downturn for
Earth’s inhabitants? Could your community start looking like the stacks
by the year 2044?
4. How does love affect Wade’s rational mind?
Would you have given Art3mis the tip about playing on the left side to
defeat the lich (page 99, chapter ten)? Did you predict that she would
turn out to be a friend or a foe?
5. How does public school in
the OASIS compare to your experience in school? Has author Ernest Cline
created a solution to classroom overcrowding, student apathy, and school
6. In his Columbus bunker, Wade puts on so many pounds
that he can no longer fit comfortably in his haptic chair. How would
you fare in his weight-loss program, described in chapter nineteen,
featuring a simulation gym, coaching from Max, and a lockout system that
restricts his diet and forces him to exercise?
7. Wade’s OASIS
pass phrase is revealed on page 199, at the end of chapter nineteen: “No
one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.” What
does this philosophy mean to him at that point in his life?
How is the novel shaped by the 1980s backdrop, featuring John Hughes
films, suburban shows like Family Ties, a techno-beat soundtrack, and of
course, a slew of early video games? Did Halliday grow up in a utopia?
Discuss Bryce Lynch’s financial situation, rigged so that Wade could
infiltrate IOI. When does Wade become willing to “die trying”? How did
you react to the image of debtors being forced into indentured
10. Wade doesn’t depend on religion to make moral
decisions or overcome life-threatening challenges. What does the novel
say about humanity’s relationship to religion? What sort of god is
Halliday, creator of the OASIS universe?
11. Despite their
introverted nature, the book’s characters thrive on friendship. Discuss
the level of trust enjoyed by Halliday and Og, and among Wade, Aech,
Art3mis, Daito, and Shoto. How is true power achieved in Ready Player
12. In the closing scenes, Halliday’s reward proves to be
greater than mere wealth. What is Halliday’s ultimate prize? How did the
rules of Halliday’s game help him determine the type of player who
would likely win?
13. In his quest for the three keys, Wade is
required to inhabit many imaginary worlds, including movies, video
games, and a simulation of Halliday’s childhood home. Which of these
virtual realities appealed to you the most? What sort of virtual reality
is provided by a novel?
(Questions issued by publisher.)