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Let’s Rock Out to READY PLAYER ONE

We celebrate FYA Book Club's June Selection, Ready Player One, with a mixtape and some videogame nostalgia!

Let’s Rock Out to READY PLAYER ONE

Greetings, FYAers!  It's Monday.  Why is it Monday?  I don't know.  Apparently no one has received my memo about how Mondays are banned from this universe on account of their grevious criminal offenses.  What crime, you ask?  The crime of existing!

But even though it's the suckiest day of the week, we've got something to put a spring in your step!  We've decided to start showing our Book Club selections a little more love here on the blog (especially if your book club, like mine, basically only discusses the book during the time it takes for your waiter to bring you your cocktails), and we're kicking things off with some Ready Player One-inspired fun!

First things first, are some of you EVEN NOW saying to yourself, "What the fuck?  There's a BOOK CLUB?"  Um, yeah, there is.   There are, I should say.  A lot of book clubs, all through America, Canada, England and Australia!!  To find one near you, check out the Book Club page!  And if there isn't a Book Club near you?  Why, just let us know with that handy dandy form and we'll get you rocking and rolling soon!

Second things second, did you miss our original review of Ready Player One?  You can read it right here!

To start the RPO fun, we thought we'd let y'all in on our favorite video games from the 80s (or, in the case of certain ridiculously young and pert FYA writers, the 90s.  Ugh.  Their youth disgusts me.  Where's my Ovaltine?)!  Play along with us!  What was YOUR favorite video game as a kid?  Leave your comments below!

From Megan no H:

Name of Game:  Street Fighter II

Highest Score Achieved:  No clue.  Truthfully, I'm trash at most fighting games.

Where did you play it:  So I'm fudging the rules a bit by picking an early 90s game, but considering my time in the 80s was from ages 0-4, I can hardly be blamed for having very little true 80s gaming experience.  I can hardly remember what I ate for lunch an hour ago, but this is one of the few games I vividly remember playing for the first time.  I was in Australia, and we were visiting some friends of my parents.  Those friends had what my memory tells me were a million sons, but in reality was probably 3 or 4.  They had a home version of the game, and I played Chun-Li against them the entire time.

Lesson learned:  It's hard to be certain, but I'm pretty sure this was the first time I had ever gotten the chance to play a female character in a video game.  The feeling of playing a strong, awesome, lady character was a proud one.  And much like Chun-Li, when getting into fights, kicking as always been my go to weapon.

From Erin:

Name of Game:  Tetris (It actually hurt my heart to pick this over Duck Hunt, but one must strive for honesty!)

Highest Score Achieved:  If you do well in Tetris, fireworks will go off behind Princess Peach's castle.  If you do really well, a UFO will lift off and fly into space.  (Why?  I don't know.  Was Princess Peach secretly working at Area 51?)  Let's just say that I was on a first-name basis with those aliens.

Where did you play it:  One of my favorite memories as a child was the time my mother and I went to Mississippi to visit the family for a few weeks.  My dad had to work, so he stayed at home (my dad uses the "have to work" excuse a lot.  Really he just loves bach'ing it up for a couple of days).  When we arrived back home, after a very long drive, my dad immediately made me comb my hair, put on a dress, and drive with him to the local video rental store.  Why?  Because I'd just won one of those brand new Nintendo systems everyone was talking about!  How'd I win?  Every night my dad would stop by the store, rent a movie and therefore have one entry for the Nintendo raffle.  He stuffed that raffle box, bless him, for three weeks because he knew how much I wanted a Nintendo.  I got my picture in the local paper!  Best dad ever!

But!  That heartwarming tale does not lead to my victory at Tetris!  Because my mom and dad wouldn't BUY me Tetris!!  In fact, I only ever had Mario, Zelda and Duck Hunt (to be fair, all are amazing games.  I sucked at Zelda, though.  Still do.)!  Worst parents ever!  So my real Tetris prowess came from playing with my babysitter's son after school.  And, later on in college, my friend Matt had a classic Nintendo system, and we'd sit on the couch and play Tetris for hours (completely unaided by any type of herbal refreshments, of course).

Lesson learned:  Patience is rewarded.  Don't rush to finish something too quickly - often you'll get better results with a slow, methodical build up.


From Meghan:

Name of Game: Mario 3

Highest Score Achieved: I never made it past the ice world, and I had to use the whistles to get there

Where did you play it: Home

Lesson learned: Plumbing should always be left to professionals. Also, you'll be SO much better at this game drunk because you stop thinking and muscle memory from childhood takes over -- we used to play it in college, and the high scores list we kept on the wall showed we always did better after coming in from the pub.


From Posh:

 Name of Game: Paperboy

Highest Score Achieved: I'm pretty sure I made it down Easy Street but never survived Middle Road.

Where did you play it: On our family's Tandy computer at home. I wasn't allowed to have a Nintendo because my parents were worried it would rot my brain, but fortunately, anything on the computer was considered "educational."

Lesson learned: I have no future in delivering papers. Also, not all dogs are cute and cuddly.

From Jenny:

Name of Game: Ms. Pacman (mofos!)

Highest Score Achieved:  I once made it to level 16, at which point the ghosts were moving so fast they killed me before I even turned a corner.

Where did you play it:  At home on the portable Ms. Pacman player I got for Christmas.

Lesson Learned:  Eating fruit really does extend your life.

From Alix:

Name of Game: Myst

Highest Level Achieved: I pwned that game

Where did you play: On my parents' computer, where I spent every day after school because I was a latch-key kid and no one could scold me to do my homework for at least two to three hours. I was also good at: Oregon Trail, Oregon Trail 2, Amazon Trail, Every Kind of Sims There Ever Was, Frogger. Things I was not good at: having a social life, being cool.

Lesson Learned: Don't trust strangers that talk to you from books. If Ginny Weasley had played Myst, she could have been saved a lot of trouble and heartbreak, as well as several dead roosters.


But hey!  That's not all!  Want to turn this Monday into an office dance party?  Of course you do.  You're human, aren't you?  In that case, please feel free to party along to our READY PLAYER ONE mixtape!!  We totally taped it off the radio, just for you!  (Or, if you have Spotify on your computer already, just click here and it should open it up in your Spotify player!)


Happy listening, you guys!! I hope you've had a great time at your book clubs this month and are gearing up for next month's selection, Howl's Moving Castle. We'll be showing a little love for that book in a few days!

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.