Books Reviews

Review: Player Number 1 - Ernest Cline



Are you prepared, Player number 1?

The year is 2044 and the Earth is no longer the same. Hunger, wars and unemployment have pushed humanity into a state of apathy never seen before.

Wade Watts is another one that escapes the disheartening reality by spending hours and hours connected to the OASIS - a global virtual utopia that allows users to be what they want; a place where you can live and fall in love in any of the worlds inspired by the films, video games and pop culture of the 1980s.

But the possibility of existing in another reality is not the only attraction of the OASIS; the deceased James Halliday, billionaire and creator of the game, hid somewhere in this huge playground a series of easter-eggs who will reward his enormous fortune - and power - whoever manages to unravel them. And Wade just found the first one.

Books should not be compared! Never. Even more to say that Player Number 1 is the new Matrix. Whoever said that didn't even read the book. He just stepped over the synopsis.

This is the first book by Ernest Cline and won several awards. It is not wonderful and wonderful, but it is good. Good enough to keep you entertained for 9 hours of non-stop reading. It may even seem strange to write that I spent 9 hours reading non-stop and claim that it is not a wonder, but this is it. The book is good! And only!

Player Number 1 it is a tribute to the classics of the 1980s. To all its culture.

The world around the main character, Wade, is destroyed. Not because of wars, but because of human greed. Humanity has extinguished its means of generating fuel and the planet lives in a misery worse than that Crisis of 1929. Employment is practically impossible to achieve. As commented in a part of the book, even to get a job opening at the cafeteria, the queue is almost 5 years. So the only way to escape this reality is to enter another one: OASIS.

Various references are made throughout the book, such as DeLorean, Dr Who, Galactica, etc.

This new video game is practically a the Sims or Second Life, where the user - the Player Number 1, which is a tribute to the ancient Arcades, so that name - you can create a Avatar and be whoever he wants. From a simple human, with superpowers, an Alien, Orc, Jedi, Mage, that is, the limit is your imagination. Except that even inside, to get items or even travel, credits are needed. And you can also create a company and do business, in addition to going to virtual school on a planet, among other more adult things.

The book is lost precisely. It could have given a little more social criticism, and not just something quick and focused only within OASIS and the homage to the 1980s. With that, the characters become even superficial. You can like it Parzival, Art3mis and co, but you can't create a stronger bond. It seems to be something common nowadays for the characters and the world around in books and films, to be just visual and nothing more.

The relationships between the characters follow the current trend of users of Facebook, where many create fakes to be who they want. Men who become stronger and richer, women more sexy or different genres. Within OASIS everything is allowed. And privacy is taken into account.

Anyway, the book is very good. Especially for those who grew up in the 1980s playing Atari, Adventure, Endurance, saving each school lunch money to go to “Arcade”(Correct name is Arcade) play Pac Man, buy discs from Vinyl at Rock Gallery (São Paulo), go to the cinema and watch movies like Karate Kid and not having to go out and pay another ticket, because at that time with a ticket you could spend the day inside, among many other things.

The games of RPG table as D&D are often mentioned. Those who watch the series Netflix, “Stranger things“, They will be placed very easily in the words and names of characters. Japanese culture fans will rave about the characters commented on in the book as Ultraman, Gundam, Evangelion and there they go in homage.

And they will stop often to make notes or even turn this book into a game of RPG. Which, by the way, is the tip for the old players or even the new ones.

Player Number 1 it is a good book to be read with ease and without thinking about a critical social and political sense. Just to remember the golden age of nerd culture with its creations and innovations. Or even learn more about it.

The book won a film that hit the screens in 2018 by the hands of Steven Spielberg, which is also commented on in the book.

And now take your book, sit in a comfortable place, put your tape on your walkman, Press START, say your sentence to start - “Greetings, Warrior Star. you were recruited by the Star League to defend the galaxy's border against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada ” - and welcome PLAYER NUMBER 1!



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