Ideas & Inspiration for Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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From Goodreads:
In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

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About the suggested projects:
Steeped in a bleak future where virtual reality reigns, and a video game competition with pop culture references from the 1980s commences, Ready Player One projects could include any 1980s references from the book, origami or LEGO trailer parks and video arcade machines, avatar designing, and virtual reality with phone apps and Google cardboard.