Reading Ready Player One: Teamwork

Ready Player One book cover illustration by WHISKYTREE
Ultimately, the last chapters of Ready Player One contain its strongest message: victory is not only for the strong; it goes to those who maintain hope, those who love, and those who remain faithful to one another, even to the bitter end.

Without the hope and tenacity of Parzival/Wade, for example, who was willing to give up his life in the last section to save his friends, and who maintains that mindset until the end, our heroes would never have been able to overthrow their opposition. Without Og’s love for and faith in Halliday, the ephemeral creator of the OASIS, the spirit of the game would have been lost to the greed and divisiveness of the Sixers. And without the faithfulness and teamwork of Shoto, Artemis, and Aech, Wade never could have made it past the Third Gate.

The Sixers, on the other hand, though they move as a massive, powerful corporation, make the fatal error of rejecting even the premise of teamwork. At the core of the IOI’s identity is domination, which cannot be present in the loving and unified. Unwilling to work together or sacrifice himself for his “team,” Sorrento views his cronies as expendable; this is clear when his avatar is killed, and Wade imagines him “kicking one of his underlings out of a haptic chair so he could take control of a new avatar.” Nothing is more important to the Sixers than winning the egg, because the egg and its subsequent wealth symbolizes domination for them.

For Wade and company, the egg means something quite different. They are each fighting against the powers that be to preserve the value of the individual, the value of the overlooked.

When small forces of good join together to fight against daunting forces of evil, their effectiveness increases exponentially. Though we may not be fighting epic battles against Voltron or Mechagodzilla, the principles we can learn from this story remain universal: with charity, hope, faith, and unity, we too can emerge victorious.

Discussion Questions

  • When have you seen the small band together to overthrow an oppressive force?
  • How might the novel have ended without Og’s intervention?
  • If Aech or Art3mis had sacrified themselves instead of Shoto, how might the novel’s ending have changed?

Area of Effect is reading Ready Player One in preparation for the upcoming movie! Read along with us as we post our chapter commentaries every Friday and post an answer to one of the questions in the comment section!

Christy Chichester

Christy Chichester

Guest Writer at Area of Effect magazine
Christy Chichester is an instructor at Penn State University, where she teaches Composition and Rhetoric, Writing in the Social Sciences, and Sci-Fi Literature. When she isn't teaching, writing, or grading, Christy can be found watching Star Wars, quoting Tolkien, or snuggling with her two pit bulls.
Christy Chichester

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