Ready Player One
How we cite our quotes:
My obsession with finding Halliday's Easter egg was gradually being supplanted by my obsession with Art3mis. (17.185)
Wade perseveres when it comes to relationships, too. Even though Art3mis doesn't want to team up with him, doesn't want to be his girlfriend, and sometimes doesn't want anything to do with him period, Wade doesn't give up. And he gets the girl in the end.
I wanted to win the contest more than ever. Not just for the money. I wanted to prove myself to Art3mis. (21.16)
At first, it's easy for Wade to keep going. He's number one on the scoreboard, kind of full himself, or at the very least confident. After months pass without finding the Jade key, he starts to give up. Once Art3mis finds it, it wouldn't have been surprising if he had just given up altogether, but instead it drives him more.
I felt like a convict in an old prison movie, returning to my cell each night to tunnel through the wall with a teaspoon. (30.52)
Wade is like a little digital version of Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption, another story of triumph against impossible odds. At this point in the story, Wade has willingly allowed himself to be imprisoned by IOI in order to pull off a plan that he's not even 100% sure if it'll work. Now that's a commitment to a cause. All that's missing is him spinning in the rain after he escapes.