"Ready Player One", one of the most anticipated films this spring, is the ultimate treat for geeks. Author Ernest Cline, a geek himself, would write almost four hundred pages on online games. James Halliday, a geek who is a huge fan of the 1980s, would make a fortune on his creation of the OASIS, a virtual reality simulator that can be accessed by everyone. There was excess demand when the human population is confronted with an energy crisis. Natural resources are almost depleted, which force the populace to live in cramped communities. (Imagine stacks of trailers.) The majority will end up poor, such that traveling is affordable to one percent of the world population. Virtual reality is not only a super drug, but also the only way to remain sane from all these insurmountable problems.
Wade Watts, an overweight teen, admits in an early chapter that the deplorable conditions prompt him to know everything about Halliday, who is leaving his fortune to the users who have made him super rich. They must play a game within a game, though. The winner will inherit his riches, making Wade too hooked to online games. Obsession has something to do with his desire to get out of the dump, fully aware that his motivation is rooted to his depression and isolation.
Cline's joyous addiction to online games masks a terrifying message: The premise of "Ready Player One" is not far from reality. (The novel is set in 2044.) One catastrophe is all it takes to turn the hands of the clock, but there's something else. Technology would make thousands of users forget the fact that there's no substitute for human contact. (Wade will find it out later.) It also applies to online games, which is a past time for teenagers and young adults alike. The negative effects include obesity, isolation, and poor academic performance, which Wade and company would show early on. There's no need to get to the point of no return, which means students should be given a few friendly reminders.
How to Get a Life
Keep in touch with your friends. Wade has only one friend, Aech, who is also addictive and knowledgeable in online games. It's a friendly rivalry between them, but the ribbing gets testy whenever the buddies talk about movies released during the 1980s. (Wade thinks that "Ladyhawke" is a classic, but Aech totally disagrees with him.) Cline would depict the online game culture, where no one doesn't know anyone in a virtual room. It would happen for a reason. (No one can resist the thought of becoming a billionaire after winning successive games.) However, Wade will pause for a moment and suspect that everyone in the virtual room is lonely and isolated as he is. Moral of the story? Turn off the computer (or mobile phone). There's nothing wrong if you tell your friends that you miss them, but do play when you need a break from paper writing.
Let's get moving. A sedentary lifestyle won't kill you if you watch your diet. (In the case of the book, the honing of hand-eye coordination will be a substitute for cardiovascular activities. There's hardly any space inside a crowded trailer while the desolate outdoors won't motivate the survivors of the crisis to take a long walk, if not run the distance.) Some college students need lots of food to write those papers. It's hard to think on an empty stomach, and you would do more harm on your body if you sit for hours. If you're thinking of taking a break, then decide if one game is good enough. If you do it a few times, then make sure that you're done with your assignment before the night is over. Don't forget to stand up, stretch your limbs, and walk around your room.
Watch out for the signs. Winning is an addictive feeling, which is a good thing. You must keep things in proper perspective, though. If you're showing signs of aggressive behavior, then make sure that your roommate (or dorm mates) haven't noticed it. If you're starting to forget the real world, then you need to go to the window and let the sunshine in. Be mindful of what you'll say during a conversation, as someone might notice you espousing the wrong values. (Winning isn't everything.) You should know what you'll do next.
The Benefits Can Be Gained Elsewhere
Computer games help you think quickly, which you often do during examinations and writing essays. It also improves your decision-making skills, but it doesn't apply to the handling of your limited budget. There are instances that gaming fosters teamwork, which Wade would show to Aech and Art3mis. Joining the varsity is the better option, where you must deal with attitudes and feelings that may affect your performance.
No one is stopping you from playing games, and you're not breaking a law if you're showing signs of addiction. Remember that your coursework is a top priority, so neglecting it can result to a huge loss. Beating your friends in a (virtual) joust won't make you feel better for the rest of the term.