Study Guide

Ready Player One Appearances

By Ernest Cline


People put a lot of time, effort, and money into their physical appearance. Aging celebrities have made entire second careers out of it. You might think that in the world of Ready Player One, where people spend the majority of their time online, they might not care as much about their appearance. You'd be half right.

In the novel, people spend a lot of time, effort, and money into their avatar's appearance by making sure it looks like an ideal version of themselves, has the perfect outfit, or maybe isn't even human. It's incredible that in a world so short on cash and resources, people are still focused on what they look like, even if it is just a bunch of pixels. But hey, at least it's still cheaper than plastic surgery.

Questions About Appearances

  1. Are people dishonest if their avatar differs in appearance from real life, like Aech, whose avatar is almost 100% opposite in every way from her actual physical appearance?
  2. When many relationships are 100% online, like Wade's before the end of the novel, is real-life physical appearance of any importance?
  3. Why does Samantha/Art3mis alter only one aspect of her avatar's appearanceā€”her birthmark?
  4. Why does IOI (the Sixers) require all of its employees to use the same online appearance?

Chew on This

Wade cares so little about the real world that his own physical appearance becomes more and more bizarre.

People obsess over the appearance of their avatars just as much as, if not more so, than their own. They spend real money on digital clothes, and that is straight up crazy.

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