The following contains massive spoilers for Ready Player One, both the new movie and the novel it is based on. Only read this if you have seen the movie.

Ready Player One is a story filled with so many pop culture references that getting them all on the big screen was always doing to be essentially impossible. As such, it was a foregone conclusion that the Ready Player One movie was going to need to make some changes to the source material. While the movie was largely able to do that without losing the spirit and fun of the book, the version of the story we got on screen was a very different beast.

This is not an exhaustive list of every difference between the book and movie, as such a thing would require an immense list of mostly insignificant details. Instead, this is a list of the big changes that have the biggest impact on the overall story, likely with numerous little changes referenced throughout as we get into the details. Let's dig in.

Ready Player One The Stacks

Wade lives in Columbus, Ohio. The city of Columbus, Ohio is the home of most of the live-action portions of Ready Player One in both the book and the film. However, in the novel, Wade actually grows up in The Stacks outside of Oklahoma City. He's just as poor. His aunt is as unsympathetic in the book as her boyfriend is in both the book and movie. Eventually, after becoming a world famous Gunter, he earns enough money to move, and so he packs his meager belongings and takes a bus to Columbus. Since that's where Gregarious Simulation Systems (called Gregarious Games, an earlier company title from the book ) is located, it's a sort of Gunter Mecca. Most of Wade's time in the book is spent living alone in a small one-room apartment in Columbus.

Ready Player One Copper Key

The copper key is won in a race. When the movie opens the location of the copper key has already been located by some other Gunter, but in order to obtain it, you have to win a race with some pretty impressive obstacles. In the novel, Parzival deduces where to find the key himself, locating a detailed recreation of the Tomb of Horrors, a location from a classic Dungeons and Dragons module, on the planet Ludus, where he attends high school inside the OASIS. Upon reaching the end of the tomb, he must face a demilich in a best two out of three matches game of the arcade game Joust. Upon winning the key, Parzival discovers that Art3mis has also discovered the tomb on her own, though she'd lost the game of Joust and so had been returning to try again.

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