Ready Player One

Ready Player One

by

Ernest Cline

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Wade Watts / Parzival Character Analysis

Wade Owen Watts is the narrator and hero of the novel. Parzival is the name of his OASIS avatar. He is 18 years old when the novel begins, and lives in the Portland Avenue Stacks in his Aunt Alice’s trailer on the edge of Oklahoma City. At the beginning of the novel Wade is shy, overweight loner whose parents are both dead and whose aunt treats him badly. He is poor and has no prospects of improving his life, and therefore spends almost all his time absorbed in the OASIS, where he obsessively studies the life of James Halliday and familiarizes himself with Halliday’s obsessions. This means that although Wade is reasonably powerless, he has a secret advantage of immense knowledge about Halliday and skill at the videogames Halliday loved. Wade is able to put this knowledge to use when he is the first person to discover the Copper Key, thereby emerging as the early frontrunner in the Easter egg hunt. Wade almost jeopardizes himself by becoming too distracted by his crush on Art3mis to sustain his early success in the hunt. However, as the novel progresses, he becomes more brave, level-headed, and mature, in part through realizing the importance of prioritizing people other than himself. By the end of the novel, Wade is ready to accept Halliday’s advice that he cannot spend all his time inside the OASIS. Although at this point Wade has won the hunt and is now a multi-billionaire who controls the simulation, he realizes that he must also embrace the real world in order to have a meaningful life.

Wade Watts / Parzival Quotes in Ready Player One

The Ready Player One quotes below are all either spoken by Wade Watts / Parzival or refer to Wade Watts / Parzival . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Ready Player One published in 2011.
Level One: 0001 Quotes

Playing old videogames never failed to clear my mind and set me at ease. If I was feeling depressed or frustrated about my lot in life, all I had to do was tap the Player One button, and my worries would instantly slip away as my mind focused itself on the relentless pixelated onslaught on the screen in front of me. There, inside the game's two-dimensional universe, life was simple: It’s

just you against the machine. Move with your left hand, shoot with your right, and try to stay alive as long as possible.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

Luckily, I had access to the OASIS, which was like having an escape hatch into a better reality. The OASIS kept me sane. It was my playground and my preschool, a magical place where anything was possible.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:
Level One: 0002 Quotes

My virtual surroundings looked almost (but not quite) real. Everything inside the OASIS was beautifully rendered in three dimensions. Unless you pulled focus and stopped to examine your surroundings more closely, it was easy to forget that everything you were seeing was computer-generated. And that was with my crappy school-issued OASIS console. I'd heard that if you accessed the simulation with a new state-of-the-art immersion rig, it was almost impossible to tell the OASIS from reality.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

The moment IOI took it over, the OASIS would cease to be the open-source virtual utopia I'd grown up in. It would become a corporate-run dystopia, an overpriced theme park for wealthy elitists.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Level One: 0005 Quotes

The more I'd learned about Halliday's life, the more I'd grown to idolize him. He was a god among geeks, a nerd über-deity on the level of Gygax, Garriott, and Gates. He'd left home after high school with nothing but his wits and his imagination, and he'd used them to attain worldwide fame and amass a vast fortune. He'd created an entirely new reality that now provided an escape for most of humanity. And to top it all off, he'd turned his last will and testament into the greatest videogame contest of all time.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker), James Halliday / Anorak
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Level One: 0010 Quotes

I quickly lost track of time. I forgot that my avatar was sitting in Halliday's bedroom and that, in reality, I was sitting in my hideout, huddled near the electric heater, tapping at the empty air in front of me, entering commands on an imaginary keyboard. All of the intervening layers slipped away, and I lost myself in the game within the game.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker), James Halliday / Anorak
Related Symbols: The OASIS, Middletown, Ohio
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:
Level One: 0012 Quotes

Morrow stayed on at GSS for five more years. Then, in the summer of 2022, he announced he was leaving the company. At the time, he claimed it was for "personal reasons." But years later, Morrow wrote in his autobiography that he'd left GSS because "we were no longer in the videogame business," and because he felt that the OASIS had evolved into something horrible. "It had become a self-imposed prison for humanity," he wrote. "A pleasant place for the world to hide from its problems while human civilization slowly collapses, primarily due to neglect."

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker), Ogden Morrow aka Og
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:
Level One: 0016 Quotes

There was no furniture in the cube-shaped room, and only one window. I stepped inside, closed the door, and locked it behind me. Then I made a silent vow not to go outside again until I had completed my quest. I would abandon the real world altogether until I found the egg.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Two: 0017 Quotes

Parzival: I've had a crush on you since before we even met. From reading your blog and watching your POV. I've been cyber-stalking you for years.

Art3mis: But you still don't really know anything about me. Or my real personality.

Parzival: This is the OASIS. We exist as nothing but raw personality in here.

Art3mis: I beg to differ. Everything about our online personas is filtered through our avatars, which allows us to control how we look and sound to others. The OASIS lets you be whoever you want to be. That’s why everyone is addicted to it.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker), Art3mis (speaker)
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 170-171
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Two: 0018 Quotes

"You don't live in the real world, Z. From what you've told me, I don't think you ever have. You're like me. You live inside this illusion." She motioned to our virtual surroundings. "You can’t possibly know what real love is."

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker), Art3mis (speaker)
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Two: 0019 Quotes

Standing there, under the bleak fluorescents of my tiny one-room apartment, there was no escaping the truth. In real life, I was nothing but an antisocial hermit. A recluse. A pale-skinned pop culture-obsessed geek. An agoraphobic shut-in, with no real friends, family, or genuine human contact. I was just another sad, lost, lonely soul, wasting his life on a glorified videogame.

But not in the OASIS. In there, I was the great Parzival. World-famous gunter and international celebrity. People asked for my autograph. I had a fan club. Several, actually. I was recognized everywhere I went (but only when I wanted to be). I was paid to endorse products. People admired and looked up to me. I got invited to the most exclusive parties. I went to all the hippest clubs and never had to wait in line. I was a pop-culture icon, a VR rock star. And, in gunter circles, I was a legend. Nay, a god.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:

I cleared my throat and recited my pass phrase. Each word appeared on my display as I said it. "No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful."

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Two: 0020 Quotes

When you owned your own world, you could build whatever you wanted there. And no one could visit it unless I granted them access, something I never gave to anyone. My stronghold was my home inside the OASIS. My avatar's sanctuary. It was the one place in the entire simulation where I was truly safe.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 200
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Two: 0023 Quotes

The first text adventure game I'd ever played was called Colossal Cave, and initially the text-only interface had seemed incredibly simple and crude to me. But after playing for a few minutes, I quickly became immersed in the reality created by the words on the screen. Somehow, the game's simple two-sentence room descriptions were able to conjure up vivid images in my mind’s eye.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Three: 0029 Quotes

Then I was led into a warm, brightly lit room filled with hundreds of other new indents. They were all shuffling through a maze of guide ropes, like weary overgrown children at some nightmarish amusement park. There seemed to be an equal number of men and women, but it was hard to tell, because nearly everyone shared my pale complexion and total lack of body hair and we all wore the same gray jumpsuits and gray plastic shoes.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Page Number: 277
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Three: 0033 Quotes

In Marie’s opinion, the OASIS was the best thing that had ever happened to both women and people of color. From the very start, Marie had used a white male avatar to conduct all of her online business, because of the marked difference it made in how she was treated and the opportunities she was given.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker), Marie Harris
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 320
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Three: 0035 Quotes

Sorrento had tried to kill me. And in the process, he'd murdered my aunt, along with several of my neighbors, including sweet old Mrs. Gilmore, who had never hurt a soul. He'd also had Daito killed, and even though I'd never met him, Daito had been my friend.

And now Sorrento had just killed Shoto’s avatar, robbing him of his chance to enter the Third Gate. Sorrento didn't deserve his power or his position. What he deserved, I decided in that moment, was public humiliation and defeat. He deserved to have his ass kicked while the whole world watched.

Page Number: 339
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Three: 0037 Quotes

I cracked up a few times and got hit with score penalties for it. Otherwise,

it was smooth sailing.

Reenacting the film wasn’t just easy—it was a total blast.

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker)
Page Number: 357
Explanation and Analysis:
Level Three: 0038 Quotes

"Listen," he said, adopting a confidential tone. "I need to tell you one last thing before I go. Something I didn't figure out for myself until it was already

too late." He led me over to the window and motioned out at the landscape stretching out beyond it." I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world. I didn't know how to connect with the people there. I was afraid, for all of my life. Right up until I knew it was ending. That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real. Do you understand?"

Related Characters: Wade Watts / Parzival (speaker), James Halliday / Anorak (speaker)
Related Symbols: The OASIS
Page Number: 364
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Ready Player One LitChart as a printable PDF.
Ready Player One PDF

Wade Watts / Parzival Character Timeline in Ready Player One

The timeline below shows where the character Wade Watts / Parzival appears in Ready Player One. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
0000
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Wade is sitting in his trailer watching cartoons when an emergency news broadcast announces that James... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
...18-year-old boy living in a trailer park on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. The narrator, Wade, is that boy, and he will now tell his story. (full context)
Level One: 0001
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Wade wakes up to the sound of gunfire, a common occurrence in the stacks. He is... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Wade’s own family is nothing like the one he is watching on TV. He was born... (full context)
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Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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On the other hand, the infinite possibilities afforded by the OASIS helped keep Wade “sane.” Loretta died after shooting up a bad batch of drugs when he was 11,... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
In the trailer, Aunt Alice demands that Wade hand over his laptop so she can pawn it; after being threatened by Alice’s boyfriend,... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
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On the way to his hideout, Wade stops at the trailer belonging to his neighbor, Mrs. Gilmore. She is a “sweet old... (full context)
Level One: 0002
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Wade’s avatar appears inside his high school. He opens his locker and explains that, aside from... (full context)
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Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Wade will soon graduate and is not looking forward to it. It won’t be possible for... (full context)
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Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Until sixth grade Wade attended a real-world school, which he hated. He was thrilled by the opportunity to transfer... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Wade goes into his World History classroom and opens his homepage, the Hatchery, which is a... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
...work together and agree to share the prize if one of them finds the egg. Wade opens another of his favorite webpages, this one called “Arty’s Missives.” It is the blog... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Wade reads Art3mis’ latest post, which is about John Hughes movies. He then opens an instant... (full context)
Level One: 0003
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...an “exclusive hangout” for top-level gunters. Aech’s avatar is a tall and handsome white man. Wade doesn’t know Aech’s real name, although Aech once confessed it began with the letter H.... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Aech and Wade chat, teasing each other and arguing about Halliday’s interests. They are interrupted by the arrival... (full context)
Level One: 0004
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Wade likes his World History teacher. All his teachers are good, in part because the OASIS... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
At lunchtime, Wade sits in a field by his school. He does not have enough money to travel... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
...or aliens, as it was designed solely as an educational planet. This is disastrous for Wade because the only way he can increase his avatar’s power level is by earning experience... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Aech’s avatar is on the 30th level. Wade considers being on the 3rd level “a colossal embarrassment.” He has tried to get a... (full context)
Level One: 0005
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Wade’s favorite class is a senior elective called Advanced OASIS Studies. The class is a breeze... (full context)
Level One: 0006
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Wade’s final class of the day is Latin, which he chose to take because Halliday had... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Wade discovers the “first real clue” to the Easter egg hunt while studying the history of... (full context)
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Wade knows that there is an old Dungeons & Dragons supplement called Tomb of Horrors, a... (full context)
Level One: 0007
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Wade’s Latin teacher is teaching the class the Latin word for “learn,” discere, when an idea... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
...it there because he wanted it to be found by a schoolkid. Class ends, and Wade immediately pulls up a map of Ludus. It is a pretty small planet, about the... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Wade calculates that the hill is 400km away from his school. If he runs there it... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Wade dons his armor, shield, and sword and runs toward the forest. He gets a phone... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Wade studies the map and realizes that if Halliday’s Tomb of Horrors is anything like the... (full context)
Level One: 0008
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inside, the Tomb remains an exact replica of the D&D module, and Wade is thus able to dodge all the trapdoors hidden within it. He moves through each... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Everything continues to go smoothly until Wade reaches the Pillared Throne Room. To his surprise, Acererak is sitting in there. According to... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Wade asks for the opportunity to prove his worth, and Acererak challenges him to a joust.... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Acererak wins the first game, and the second gets off to a bad start for Wade. However, Wade then begins to learn Acererak’s “playing style,” which helps him. He notes that... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Suddenly “triumphant” music from the Star Wars soundtrack fills the room, and Anorak hands Wade the Copper Key. At the same moment, Wade gains 50,000 XPs, instantly raising his avatar... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Wade knows that he will find a replica of Halliday’s first computer in Middletown, the planet... (full context)
Level One: 0009
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The avatar standing in the Tomb demands to know who Wade is. As she steps forward, he realizes that it is Art3mis. Wade is speechless, but... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Art3mis observes that Wade looks like “a low-level wimpazoid” and that he’s not being honest with her. Wade tries... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Wade is charmed by Art3mis, and they both laugh. They introduce themselves, and Wade admits that... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Furious, Art3mis yells that she has been trying to beat Acererak for five weeks, and Wade has beat him on the first try. She realizes that Wade must have the clue... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Art3mis asks what Wade will do with Halliday’s fortune if he wins, and Wade replies that he will buy... (full context)
Level One: 0010
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
As Wade exits the Tomb, he receives dozens of missed calls and text messages from Aech, who... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
...no people in it, but otherwise it is a perfect replica of Halliday’s childhood home. Wade finds it confusing that Halliday chose to recreate a place in which he had been... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Wade suddenly sees an iron gate appear in the bedroom wall, and he slides the Copper... (full context)
Level One: 0011
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
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Wade’s avatar appears inside an old video arcade, midway through a game of Galaga. He catches... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Suddenly, another character—a young boy—approaches Wade and says hi. The character’s name is Howie. Wade pauses and sees a flashing sign... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
At first Wade thinks acting out the whole movie will be easy; however, it turns out to be... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
...Jade Key in a dwelling long neglected.” The clue also mentions a “whistle” and “trophies.” Wade realizes that he has cleared the First Gate, and he sees that his avatar now... (full context)
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The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Wade runs down to the Hallidays’ kitchen and grabs the car keys. He drives the Hallidays’... (full context)
Level One: 0012
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The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
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Wade sleeps for 12 hours, missing school. He wakes up to find that Art3mis has also... (full context)
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Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Wade smiles as he realizes that Morrow knows more about the hunt than has been widely... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Wade has received 2 million emails since clearing the First Gate, but only two are from... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Wade then opens the email from Art3mis. She thanks him for the tip and says it... (full context)
Level One: 0013
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The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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The next day, Aech clears the First Gate, and on Monday Wade returns to school. The reinvigoration of the hunt means that half of the students and... (full context)
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Wade writes back agreeing to all the endorsement offers on the condition that he can keep... (full context)
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The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Wade researches Nolan Sorrento, learning that he has a PhD in Computer Science and that he... (full context)
Level One: 0014
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
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Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Through the chatlink session, Wade appears on a grand observation deck on IOI-1, the planet that serves as IOI headquarters.... (full context)
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Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Wade believes he is the first gunter to be given a tour of IOI-1. Gunters have... (full context)
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Sorrento brings up Wade’s newfound fame, and Wade tells him to get to the point, pretending not to be... (full context)
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Wade asks if he can have a few days to consider, but Sorrento refuses. Sorrento gives... (full context)
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The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Suddenly, Wade changes his mind and tells Sorrento and IOI to go “fuck a duck.” Sorrento gives... (full context)
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Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Wade sits in his hideout. At first nothing happens, but after a minute he hears a... (full context)
Level One: 0015
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The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
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Back on Ludus, Wade sees IOI gunships flying through the sky above him, and is relieved to remember that... (full context)
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The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Feeling lonely, Wade logs into the Basement an hour early. All the news channels are showing the Sixers... (full context)
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
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Wade tells the others about the Sixers’ attempt to kill him. He then tells them about... (full context)
Level One: 0016
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...like a meth lab that exploded by accident. When his first endorsement check comes through, Wade buys a first-class, one-way bus ticket to Columbus, taking only his most important belongings with... (full context)
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Wade buys a new identity on the OASIS black market using his newfound fame as leverage.... (full context)
Level Two: 0017
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The chapter opens with a chat conversation between Wade and Art3mis, who until now has been ignoring Wade because they are competitors and thus... (full context)
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Art3mis tells Wade that she is 19 and studying Poetry and Creative Writing in college. They realize that... (full context)
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Wade starts emailing Art3mis. At first, she doesn’t reply, but after she does they begin corresponding... (full context)
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Wade spends the rest of his time raising the level of his avatar by completing quests,... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Wade dreams of meeting Art3mis in real life, and neglects his friendship with Aech. Aech warns... (full context)
Level Two: 0018
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Wade receives an email from Ogden Morrow inviting Wade to his 73rd birthday party, which will... (full context)
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Wade drives up to the club in a DeLoreon (a 1980s sports car) he acquired through... (full context)
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Wade and Art3mis’ conversation is interrupted by a massive boom erupting overhead. Sixers descend on the... (full context)
Level Two: 0019
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Wade has spray-painted the only window in his apartment black, so no natural light comes in.... (full context)
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The system agent software of Wade’s computer—somewhat like a virtual personal assistant—is named Max, and resembles the 1980s talk show host... (full context)
Level Two: 0020
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Wade’s avatar appears on the command center of Falco, the private asteroid he’s bought—the “cheapest planetoid”... (full context)
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...Art3mivision. She has also started her own fashion line. She has blocked all contact with Wade since Morrow’s party eight weeks ago, and she no longer posts to her blog. Even... (full context)
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On the other hand, Wade did find a chance to reach out to Daito and Shoto when he discovered a... (full context)
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Wade’s expenses are high, and he supports himself through a part-time job doing OASIS technical support.... (full context)
Level Two: 0021
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...headlines announce that Parzival has been “dethroned” and that Art3mis is now the top gunter. Wade curses himself for having wasted time pining over the girl who has now beat him... (full context)
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Wade instructs Max to power up his spaceship, the Vonnegut. He notes that Archaide is a... (full context)
Level Two: 0022
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...Archaide resembles a “massive underground multilevel labyrinth” in which it is easy to get lost. Wade runs until he arrives at the GSS Museum, however he soon realizes that the museum... (full context)
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Wade takes a different route out of the planet, and on his way finds an “underground... (full context)
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Wade realizes that he’s found something special—not “the Easter egg,” but “an Easter egg.” In order... (full context)
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Wade receives an email from Aech saying that they are “officially even now” and that Aech... (full context)
Level Two: 0023
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...of several planets that serve as a “shrine” to the earliest days of the OASIS. Wade explains that text adventure games create a virtual game environment through text; players use simple... (full context)
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Wade approaches the white house in front of him and enters the kitchen. He retrieves the... (full context)
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Suddenly, Wade hears the Sixers arriving, and knows that gunters won’t be far behind. He dashes to... (full context)
Level Two: 0024
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...install a force field, and suddenly the number of Sixers with the key jumps dramatically. Wade returns to Falco and meditates on the meaning of the line inscribed in the key.... (full context)
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Wade’s thoughts are interrupted by a vidmail message from Shoto saying that Daito left Wade something... (full context)
Level Two: 0025
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Shoto arrives on Falco dressed in black mourning robes. He and Wade sit together, and Shoto explains that the Sixers killed Daito—not in the OASIS, but in... (full context)
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Shoto gives Wade the Beta Capsule, telling him that Daito wanted him to have it. Wade tries to... (full context)
Level Two: 0026
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Wade is at home analyzing the silver foil in which the Jade Key was wrapped when... (full context)
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Wade travels to a cyberpunk-themed world in Sector 22 called Axrenox and quickly finds a copy... (full context)
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Wade materializes inside a bowling alley with “disco-era décor” and a sign reading Middletown Lanes. He... (full context)
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Wade finds the game difficult at first, but after three hours he manages to get through... (full context)
Level Two: 0027
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Wade rematerializes inside Tyrell’s office. He returns to the Vonnegut and pulls up his research notes... (full context)
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Wade realizes that he is supposed to put an offering on the altar of the Temple.... (full context)
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The guitar transforms into the Crystal Key, and Wade receives a further 25,000 points, putting him back ahead of Sorrento. Looking at the guitar,... (full context)
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Wade arrives on Chthonia to find that the Sixers have installed a magical shield over Castle... (full context)
Level Three: 0028
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Wade is watching the 1985 movie Explorers when the IOI corporate police arrive at his apartment... (full context)
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The cops begin to cut through the War Door. Wade knows he will have about five minutes before they are able to get through, and... (full context)
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The cops tear off Wade’s haptic suit and give him an uncomfortable gray jumpsuit and plastic shoes to wear instead.... (full context)
Level Three: 0029
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There appear to be far more homeless people lining the streets than when Wade first arrived. He watches some of them using the OASIS from GSS’s free access stations.... (full context)
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Wade is given a series of tests to determine how he can best be put to... (full context)
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Wade is forced to sign an “Indenturement Contract.” He explains that this is all part of... (full context)
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Wade’s sleeping capsule is inside a “Hab Block,” which reminds him of a mausoleum. The capsule... (full context)
Level Three: 0030
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Wade works in a cubicle inside the IOI’s Technical Support call center. He is not permitted... (full context)
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Wade regularly falls asleep during his shift, to the point that IOI have started giving him... (full context)
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Seven months ago, Wade bought a set of IOI intranet passwords on the OASIS black market from a former... (full context)
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Finally, the night comes when Wade is ready to explore the Oology database. He plans to download the data and smuggle... (full context)
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While Wade waits for the information about the Third Gate to copy to his flash drive, he... (full context)
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...anything like their avatars. There is no photo and little information in Aech’s file, and Wade can tell that the name listed is fake. Daito’s file, meanwhile, contains a video of... (full context)
Level Three: 0031
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Wade sends a request to the Oology Division for a “very specific item” to be delivered... (full context)
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Wade exits the lobby tensely, hoping that no one will notice he is still wearing the... (full context)
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Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto have all written to ask Wade where he is. Wade replies to Art3mis first, warning her about the Sixers’ plan to... (full context)
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The autocab pulls up to a clothing store called Thr3ads. Wade purchases clothing that are wired for connection to the OASIS, along with outerwear, as he... (full context)
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Wade emails every major news channel with evidence of how IOI killed Daito and attempted to... (full context)
Level Three: 0032
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Wade checks that Shoto and Art3mis have left their homes for safe locations, and they both... (full context)
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Wade shares the good news that the Sixers still don’t know how to open the Third... (full context)
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Wade explains that the shield the Sixers have installed will dissolve on its own in 36... (full context)
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...public café in Osaka where he likely won’t be safe from the Sixers for long. Wade admits that he’s homeless, too. Suddenly a deep voice offers help—it is Og, Morrow’s avatar,... (full context)
Level Three: 0033
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Wade, Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto stare at Morrow in shock. Aech asks how he got there,... (full context)
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...for Art3mis. Morrow knows that Aech is in Pittsburgh, and asks him to pick up Wade in Columbus, where a jet will be waiting to take both of them to Oregon.... (full context)
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Wade sends his “Call to Arms” email, also posting it to the gunter message boards. Immediately... (full context)
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Despite her smile, Aech seems nervous. Wade cannot help but start laughing, which quickly makes Aech laugh too. When she speaks, her... (full context)
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As Aech and Wade talk, Wade realizes that nothing in their friendship has really changed; they are as close... (full context)
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Morrow leads them through the mansion’s grand entrance. As they walk, Wade nervously confesses his love of Halcydonia Interactive. Aech laughs at Wade’s enthusiasm, but Morrow accepts... (full context)
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Before Morrow leaves, Wade asks him what happened to his friendship with Halliday. Morrow explains that Halliday had been... (full context)
Level Three: 0034
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Wade takes out the Leopardon robot he won in Black Tiger. He shouts its name and... (full context)
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As Wade swoops in, the crowds chant his avatar’s name. Shoto points out that if the shield... (full context)
Level Three: 0035
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The shield dissolves and there is suddenly nothing separating the Sixer army from the gunters. Wade is stunned to find that every single gunter around him rushes toward the Sixers, even... (full context)
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...of fire. Shoto’s name disappears from the Scoreboard, confirming that his avatar is dead. While Wade is distracted, Sorrento takes the opportunity to cut his robot in half. Luckily Wade ejects... (full context)
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Using white beams, Wade knocks Mechagodzilla to the ground, to the cheers of surrounding gunters. As Sorrento struggles to... (full context)
Level Three: 0036
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...perspective switches to third person and replays the moments leading up to the avatar’s death. Wade watches as a white light obliterates the whole surface of the planet except the Third... (full context)
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Wade is expecting to see the words “Game Over” when instead another message appears on screen,... (full context)
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Aech, Shoto, and Art3mis all wish Wade well. Artifacts cannot be destroyed by a Cataclyst blast, so Wade is able to find... (full context)
Level Three: 0037
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Wade is standing in totally dark, empty space, when suddenly he sees a coin-operated arcade game... (full context)
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As Wade is freaking out, Art3mis tells him not to panic. The game was made in 1980... (full context)
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Although he is nervous, Wade’s inner competitiveness gives him a powerful edge. On Level 81, he hears Shoto shout: “You... (full context)
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Aech warns Wade that three Sixers are now inside the Holy Grail Flicksync too. Wade completes the film,... (full context)
Level Three: 0038
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Wade can no longer hear the voices of his friends; the communication system has obviously been... (full context)
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After ten minutes of failures, Wade remembers a detail from Morrow’s biography, which stated that Halliday would only address Kira by... (full context)
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Wade walks up to Anorak’s study. He looks out the window and sees that the Cataclyst’s... (full context)
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Halliday tells Wade that his avatar is immortal and all-powerful, and that he is in charge of the... (full context)
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After Halliday leaves, Wade is able to talk to his friends again. They congratulate him, and Wade thanks them... (full context)
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Wade then resurrects the avatars of Aech, Art3mis, and Shoto. Aech and Shoto eagerly log back... (full context)
Level Three: 0039
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Wade exits the immersion bay and finds Morrow waiting for him. Morrow congratulates him, hugging him... (full context)
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Art3mis asks what they’re going to do now, and Wade says they are going to solve world hunger and “make the world a better place.”... (full context)