Versions of Reality Quotes in Ready Player One
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
I wasn't sure why they bothered. They could just as easily have watched the game via vidfeed. (7.44)
This is a strange statement by Wade, who doesn't understand why people take their avatars to virtual sporting games. Maybe for the same reason they virtually hug, dance, and watch movies together in chatrooms--all things Wade has Parzival do—because this is how their new reality operates. We mean, what else are they going to do?
I forgot that my avatar was sitting in Halliday's bedroom and that, in reality, I was sitting in my hideout [...] entering commands on an imaginary keyboard. All the intervening layers slipped away, and I lost myself within the game. (10.38)
This explains how we, as readers, also forget sometimes that Wade is inside a game. It's so real to him, he forgets it himself. But note what he's saying here. He doesn't just forget what's real, he loses his self. So even though it's just a game, this is some serious existential business.
I'd come to see my [OASIS] rig for what it was: an elaborate contraption for deceiving my senses, to allow me to live in a world that didn't exist. (19.50)
Wade says this but doesn't change his behavior one bit. In fact, he becomes more obsessed with the OASIS. Despite believing the whole thing to be a deception, he's in too deep to change anything. The OASIS is his real world now.