Chapters 5–8 Summary and Analysis
Wade's favorite class is Advanced OASIS Studies, where students learn about the history of the OASIS and its creators, James Halliday and Ogden Morrow. Halliday was born on July 12, 1972 in Middletown, Ohio. At 15, he created Anorak's Quest, programming it in BASIC on a TRS-80 color computer. It was Morrow who convinced Halliday to sell his game. After the game became a commercial success, the friends premiered Gregarious Games (GG), their own video game company. Immediately, Halliday began programming versions of Anorak's Quest for the Atari 800XL, Apple II, and Commodore 64 computers. Anorak's Quest soon became a national bestseller, and Gregarious Games moved into its first office in Columbus, Ohio in 1990.
The company soon set the industry standard for immersive gaming, and the partners became multimillionaires by their thirtieth birthdays. While Morrow handled GG's business and public affairs, Halliday distinguished himself as the reclusive creator of addictive online games. Halliday was obsessed with 1980s entertainment and expected everyone to share his passion. In 2012, GG re-branded itself as Gregarious Simulation Systems (GSS) and released the OASIS, an open-source virtual reality (VR) world that eclipsed all other massively multi-player online games (MMOs) before it. This VR world could be freely assessed by anyone using only two pieces of interface hardware: the OASIS visor and haptic gloves. In the aftermath of a global energy crisis, severe limitations to travel led to the OASIS becoming the world's favorite way to escape from reality.
Wade's final class of the day is Latin, a language Halliday studied and used in some of his earlier adventure games. Despite his enthusiasm, Wade finds Latin class boring and spends much of his time reading Anorak's Almanac, which contains thousands of references to Halliday's favorite books, movies, songs, TV shows, and games. In the event of a power outage, Wade resorts to a hard copy binder version of the book. Wade has played every video game, read...
(The entire section is 1263 words.)