Summary of “Ready Player One is the roadmap to digital dystopia”

As the novel’s world descends into chaos and poverty, thanks to climate change and a fossil-fuel crisis, most of its citizens spend their days traversing the OASIS, a virtual reality world created by an “Eccentric” ’80s kid named James Halliday.
Ready Player One is also worse than that, in quietly unexamined ways that speak to the internet’s original sin.
The internet ethos of the ’80s and ’90s was rooted in an insidious brand of optimism best represented by the 1994 “Hacker” episode of Ghostwriter, in which a teenaged Julia Stiles lovingly caressed a computer monitor and declared the internet “a world where you’re judged by what you say and think, not by what you look like. A world where curiosity and imagination equals power.”
It has done so in part because of one of the internet’s core values, which also lies at the heart of Ready Player One: the belief that the right to anonymously do as you please is in fact a right, and one that is “De facto good” – at least for a certain class of people.
“Bullies couldn’t pelt me with spitballs, give me atomic wedgies, or pummel me by the bike rack after school. No one could even touch me. In here, I was safe.” The idea of the internet as a safe place – one where you can be untouchable, immune to abuse – is Ready Player One’s most anachronistic and privileged idea, one shared by many of the people who built its platforms.
There is no sign of these dangers in the text of Ready Player One; while the world outside of the OASIS is falling apart, the virtual world remains – yup – an oasis, a utopian expanse where anything is possible and everyone is emancipated by their online presence.
We don’t need to create fantasy worlds where nerds are some of the most powerful people in the world and their predilections are constantly catered to – they already are.
Their problem is the same problem that haunts Ready Player One from its first page to its last, like a vengeful poltergeist: the desire to indulge in playful, optimistic nostalgia about your favorite things while the world falls down around you.

The orginal article.