I’ve just barely started reading Ready Player One and already the parallels from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are glaring. Poor kid in a desolate position finds the key to a potential goldmine while the rest of the players try to bring him down for their own advantage. Now the question is, where do the parallels end? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a children’s book, so the themes are fairly straight forward: the world can be a bad place but that doesn’t mean you have to be a bad person. And in fact, if you are not a bad person, you will be rewarded. Will this book follow in the same manner? It’s set in a dystopia, which implies that unlike Dahl, Cline has already somewhat given up on the people of his time, and looks to the people of the future to fix what we messed up. Will video games help or hinder in that regard? For instance, Augustus indulged too much in chocolate and was sucked up a tube and out of the game. Charlie, who indulged little but enjoyed it immensely was rewarded. Given that the point of finding these keys and the treasure is to play the video game and that video games are the only respite for this world, I find it hard to imagine that Cline is suggesting video games should be enjoyed minimally. I guess I’ll have to keep reading to find out but I’ll be looking for more parallels from now on.