Innovative Online Industries, known as IOI, is a communications company and the largest internet service provider in the world. As such, it wields an extremely large amount of power and embodies the trope of the “evil corporation.” IOI runs on an ethos of bloodthirsty greed. Early in the novel, the company tries to assassinate Wade by planting explosives in Aunt Alice’s trailer. Although Wade escapes, everyone in Aunt Alice’s stack (and the surrounding stacks) are killed; in a separate incident, they successfully kill Daito, framing his death as a suicide. IOI thus represents the real danger involved in participating in Halliday’s Easter egg hunt. While the hunt may appear to be “just a game,” the stakes are life and death. Furthermore, Wade’s determination to win the hunt is grounded in his desire to save the OASIS from falling into the hands of IOI, who he claims will transform it into a “fascist corporate theme park.” IOI plans to charge users a fee and to sell advertising space to other companies. To IOI, the OASIS has no value outside of its capacity to produce financial profit.
IOI also typifies the evil corporation trope because of the way it suppresses individuality. IOI employees must all use the same identical-looking avatar and are known by their employee numbers, all of which begin with the number 6––hence the nickname “Sixers.” When Wade is captured and sent to serve out an indenturement contract in exchange for a falsified “debt” he owes to IOI, all elements of his individuality are stripped away, and he is forced to live in a prison where freedom of expression is completely banned. While IOI often proclaim to be providing valuable services––for example, by offering free accommodation and healthcare to their employees––they in fact deliberately suppress individuality and take out anyone who threatens the supremacy of their wealth and power.
Innovative Online Industries (IOI) Quotes in Ready Player One
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.
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.