Study Guide

Ready Player One Identity

By Ernest Cline


The concept of identity has always been a bit complicated. As Popeye always said, "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I am." True, but you're also how other people view you, which might be as a freaky sailor with a speech impediment. Identity in Ready Player One is just as complicated.The OASIS doesn't just let its users alter their physical appearance, it lets people change who they are. They can put their best foot forward, or let their more nefarious side show. Normal people can be warriors and wizards, and out-of-shape nerds like Wade Watts can be superheroes. Perhaps it's not all just playing pretend. These people have these traits inside them somewhere. The OASIS just allows them to come out in full force.

Questions About Identity

  1. How does Wade's online identity, Parzival, differ from his real-life identity? What qualities remain the same and which are different?
  2. Physical appearances aside, how does Helen's online identity, Aech, differ from her real-life identity? Are they all that different?
  3. Anorak is an avatar programmed by Halliday. From what you know about Halliday, how similar was he in real life to Anorak? What changes did he make, if any, when programming Anorak?

Chew on This

In the OASIS, identity is less about who you are and more about who you want to be.

Halliday's identity remained shrouded in secrecy. Only rumors about his insanity defined him.

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