At the beginning of the summer Ernest Cline, bestselling author of the novel Ready Player One, announced a contest for his readers to win a DeLorean. In the spirit of the novel, the contest was to find an easter egg hidden inside of the book. Three months later and after three difficult videogame challenges, hundreds of entries were whittled down to one lucky prize winner.
Contest winner Craig Queen was awarded the vintage DeLorean on G4’s X-Play. Only eight days after the third and final challenge was announced, Queen was tasked to be the first to set a new world record for the highest score for the classic video game Joust for the Atari 2600.
The Ready Player One easter egg hunt was elaborate. Once readers found the URL in the hardcover or paperback versions of Cline’s novel, the link took them to a new Atari 2600 video game called Stacks. After completing the First Gate, the winners would have to play a new Facebook video game created by legendary developer Richard Garriott de Cayeux. After completing the Second Gate, the third and final challenge was to set a new world record for either Pac-Man, Joust Arcade, Joust Atari 2600, Black Tiger, or Robotron 2084.
Ready Player One is set 30 years in the future, where the Internet and multi-player video games are one and the same. When a billionaire industrialist dies, he leaves his fortune to the person who can find all three mysterious keys and complete the game master’s challenges. The novel is like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory meets Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.