Library beckons readers to enter virtual world of “Ready Player One”


Adventurous readers wanting to step inside a virtual reality world will want to check out Santa Clarita Public Library’s selection for the fourth annual One Story One City program, Ernest Cline’s bestselling sci-fi novel “Ready Player One.”

Residents are encouraged to read the novel via the city library and taking part in a number of events in March. Fans of classic arcade games can try to beat other players’ scores Thursday, March 8, as each library location will have retro games available to play.

An artists’ reception featuring artwork inspired by the novel and the 1980s will take place Saturday, March 3, inside City Hall. Library visitors will be able to test drive virtual reality at 4 p.m. Friday, March 2, at the Valencia library; at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, at the Canyon Country library and at 4 p.m. Monday March 26 at the Old Town Newhall library.

Likened by critics as a mashup of “The Matrix” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with an infusion of 1980s video game pop culture, the novel is set in 2045 where teenager Wade Watts escapes the dystopian real world for the wonders of OASIS, a virtual world. After OASIS creator James Halliday passes away, Watts stumbles onto one of three keys, which together would give Halliday’s vast fortune to whoever possesses them. Watts’ discovery triggers a frenzied search for the remaining keys as groups battle for control of OASIS.

A film adaptation of the novel directed by Steven Spielberg is expected to arrive in theaters March 29.

Public discussions on the book will take place at all branches of the library, along with craft nights, dance parties, movie nights and game nights themed to the 1980s. Those looking to go on their own key-finding scavenger hunt within the libraries can test their “Ready Player One” knowledge and enter a drawing for a chance to receive tickets to the “Ready Player One” film.

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