Since Columbus became the location of IOI's headquarters, the city was able to maintain some wealth during a difficult time. The city was full of those interested in the contest, as the proximity to IOI allowed for the best possible Wifi connection.
The urban-parks-turned-refugee-camps are an important reminder of the many humans in the future who were forced to live in a world discarded for the OASIS, and never given a chance to live in the OASIS itself. The urban centers in this new world were packed with homeless people due to a lack of job opportunities.
IOI's headquarters is described in great detail. The building, similarly massive in both the OASIS and the real world worlds, is a testament to the massive reserves of power that the IOI owned due to its monopoly over the Internet. IOI's vast resources helped it cheat in the competition and gain an unfair edge over its opponents, who then had to work many times harder in order to win.
In playing an antiquated version of Pac-Man in the OASIS, upon beating the high score Wade is granted a single quarter coin with no discernible use. Later on, after his avatar was killed in battle along with a lot of other OASIS players, the quarter allows Wade a chance to re-spawn, whereas normally the death of an avatar would be permanent. As the OASIS is, in essence, a vastly glorified video game, the quarter literally represents a second chance at life.
Ready Player One Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Ready Player One is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
I don't like it. This is clearly a dystopian world. As a novel set in 2044 with the fossil fuel and global warming crises, Cline undeniably inhabits the dystopian genre. And as any dystopian society, there are those who suffered and those that did...