Ready Player One

About a month ago I picked up Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, I didn’t really know what to expect. I forgot about it for a few weeks, and before I was leaving to head to Philly for the weekend, I saw it on the table and threw it into my carry on. I was going to meet my girlfriends sister, brother in law, and nephew, for his fourth birthday. When we travel I usually read, and she’ll either sleep or fill out sudoku puzzles the whole trip. I put my headphones on in Tampa, opened the book, and didn’t even look up until we were landing in Philly. I read it every night before sleep, and the whole flight back. I finished it a few days ago.

This book is so damn good. I’m a huge fan of role playing games like Dark Souls, Demon Souls, Bloodborne, Skyrim, and the Diablo‘s.

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On one of the covers it describes this book to be the adults version of Harry Potter, I do agree, but when I was reading this book I felt as if I were playing one of the games that I love so much. I couldn’t put it down when I was in Philly, until I realized I was being borderline rude.

The story follows a teenager named Wade Watts, who lives in a “stack,” a bunch of trailers stacked on top of each other, held together by steel frames. In the opening of the story the man who created the OASIS, the virtual reality program where kids go to school and adults go to get away from the real world, has just passed away. In his passing, he has created a challenge for the users in the OASIS, awarding billions of dollars and control of the OASIS upon completion. All you have to do is find three keys. Sounds simple right? Hardly.

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Wade’s journey through the OASIS involves dungeons full of enemies he is forced to fight through with gear he picks up along the way. At one point in the story he finds a +1 Flaming Sword, which, for anyone who played Dark Souls knows, there is a flaming sword in the near beginning of the game if you shoot the dragons tail with about 50 arrows (dedication, yes), this part gave me an awesome feeling of nostalgia. The video game feel throughout this book is indescribable. I can’t put into words how great this book is, and if you even remotely like playing RPG’s (role-playing games), you have no option but to read this.

The featured image can be found here, where there is also a large number of pictures from the story. I scrolled through that site for quite some time, and I couldn’t help but use the picture of Acerak, one of the demon’s in the story Wade must fight, playing the video game Joust. Cline also has a new book titled Armada that came out a few months ago, and it is without a doubt the next book I’ll be reading.

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Trumping Idiocracy

If you haven’t seen the movie Idiocracy, I implore you to do so. The film was directed by Mike Judge in 2006, it portrays the world 500 years from now and predicts the future to be hilariously disturbing.

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In the movie, the president is an ex-professional wrestler played by Terry Crews who goes by the name of “President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.” The only thing they use water for is in the sewage system, aka toilet water. They water their crops with “Brawndo,” which is basically Gatorade in the film, and the only reason they could do this is because Brawndo is a huge corporation that bought out the FCC, the FDA, and the USDA. The film is amazingly ridiculous, and I can’t help but think that something like this could actually happen, what with our current republican candidate in the running.

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Also Murica

Trump’s said some seriously vile things, and the latest we’ve all heard is his Access Hollywood video where he says you can do anything when you’re famous, going on to say you can even “Grab em by the pussy.” This whole interaction, caught on a mic Trump was wearing, seems like a line straight out of Idiocracy, where there is constant profanity in commercials, on billboards, and where they elected an ex-professional wrestler with “Mountain-Dew” as his middle name. Though I have more faith in the real-life American people, it’s still a bit scary to imagine a future with somebody like Trump as our leader.

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Take the family out for a nice dinner (spoiler warning)

After seeing this movie I cannot tell you how many times “Idiocracy” has been the first thing I think of when watching ridiculous commercials, or seeing candidates debate about climate change being a real thing or not…Come on guys, it’s 2016, and unless you plan on watering your crops with “Brawndo” in the near future, please get out and vote.

The film has also predicted a good amount of things that have come true since it’s release in September of 2006. For a nice list of those things, and some other fun facts about the movie to reality comparison, take a journey here.

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