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
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 true self?
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 violence?
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?
8. 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?
9. 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 servitude?
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 One?
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?