Vol 14 No 1 (2023)

Egos, Easter Eggs and Erotic Nerd Girls : A feminist critique of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One

Julie Simpson
Athabasca University
Published January 15, 2023


Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is a young adult novel designed to appeal to those invested in the video game culture. With its significant references to 80s pop culture, the novel also draws the attention of an older generation of video game fanatics. However, this novel poses significant challenges from a feminist perspective and when explored through a critical lens,  highlights the issues women in video game culture face on a regular basis. Drawing on feminist ideology, literary studies and media studies, this interdisciplinary examination of the novel, and the connected film, explores the toxic attitudes that are embedded in video games and Ernest Cline’s approach to creating and defining female characters.