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Citizens of the OASIS, I am Parzival, first to the key. I'm here talking to all of you now because our future's being threatened by people who will stop at nothing to win this contest. Some of you already know this, and you've lost much more than just your avatars or your weapons. Some have lost their freedom. Some have lost their lives. And now, this. A force field around the third challenge. I only came here to escape the shitty hand that life dealt me. But I stayed, like many of you, because I found something much bigger than just myself. I found a cause. I found my friends. And yes, I know it's kind of a groaner, but... I found love. And I don't wanna lose that to this colossal douchebag, Nolan Sorrento. He thinks that we're all too distracted to even notice. Nolan Sorrento thinks that we won't put up a fight. The only thing Halliday let this guy do... was get him a cup of coffee. And now, we're supposed to hand him the OASIS? He thinks that we won't even put up a fight! Well, I say he's wrong. I say, tell that to the gunter clans in the gold mines of Gygax. Ask yourself, are willing to zero out for the OASIS? Are you willing to fight? I am Parzival of the High Five. In the name of Art3mis, in the name of Aech, in the name of Daito and Sho, we ask you to join us on Planet Doom. In the name of James Halliday himself, help us save the OASIS.
~ Wade sending his message to everyone in the OASIS

Wade Owen Watts, under the virtual name Parzival, is the main protagonist of Erenest Cline's novel and Steven Spielberg's movie Ready Player One.

He is portrayed by Tye Sheridan, who also plays a younger Cyclops in the X-Men Series.

Biography

History

Wade was born to a teenage couple on August 12, 2027, two refugees who met in the stacks. His father, who was unnamed, was shot to death when Wade was only a few months of age. He was allegedly shot and killed while looting a grocery store during a power outage.

His mother, Loretta, held two full-time positions within the OASIS. She worked as a telemarketer by day, and as a virtual escort by night. It is explained by Wade, that Loretta used the OASIS to babysit him during these work hours; he would play interactive games and learn fundamental skills within the virtual world, beginning his infatuation with technology at a young age.

When Wade was around 11 years old, Loretta died due to her drug addiction and committed suicide. She "shot a bad batch of something into her arm," and Wade found her, listening to music on an MP3 player he had repaired and gifted to her the prior Christmas. After her death, he was forced to live with his aunt Alice and her often abusive boyfriends, including others who rented rooms in his aunt's double-wide trailer. Wade's aunt didn't actually take care of him; the only reason she agreed to take him in was to receive additional food vouchers. She would often take stuff from him and sell it so that they would have enough money to pay the rent. He spent very little time in her trailer, only sleeping and eating there when he had to. Most of Wade's waking hours were spent in his secret hideout.

Wade attended school in the real world for a few years and then volunteered to go to school in the OASIS, This was when he first had access to the OASIS since he was issued a school supplied visor, haptic suit and gloves. However, he didn't have enough money to do anything else.

Wade was often bullied by the richer students at the school since he only wore jeans and a tee shirt, the default options for clothing and this signified that he was poorer than the other students. However, since it was a no PvP zone, he was safe from any injuries.

Wade often slacked off during school, he even found a way to hack the system so that he could read the clues for the hunt. Yet he still earned enough credits to graduate.

After Wade completed Halliday's Hunt, he became one of the richest people in the world and also gained the abilities of Anorak in the OASIS world (including unlimited hit points and cyberpotence). He also became Art3mis's boyfriend.

Wade Watts is an orphaned teenager living in the slums, or 'stacks', of Columbus, Ohio, with his Aunt Alice. In the OASIS, his avatar, Parzival, is best friends with Aech, a virtual mechanic. One day, Parzival befriends Art3mis, a well-known Gunter, sharing a common interest in Halliday's history. They review Halliday's life from the Archives, an online library of Halliday's life that came online upon the start of the games, with help from its Curator. They learn Halliday had several regrets in life, including his unrequited love for Morrow’s wife Kira and losing Morrow as a friend after forcing him to sign away his part of Gregarious Games. Using this information, they solve the first two challenges of Anorak's game: a car race across an ever-shifting Manhattan cityscape and a search for Kira in the Overlook Hotel from The Shining. Aech and two other friends, Daito and Sho, soon follow suit, the group becoming known as the "High Five" on the OASIS scoreboards.

Sorrento learns of Parzival's real-life identity through OASIS mercenary i-R0k, and attempts to sway Wade into joining IOI, but he refuses. In retaliation, Sorrento has IOI's head of operations F'Nale Zandor bomb Wade's stack, killing Alice. Art3mis' player, Samantha Cook, rescues Wade, but they are soon found by IOI. Samantha is captured and remanded to one of IOI's Loyalty Centers to work off the debt IOI acquired, while Wade is extracted by the other High Five members: Helen (Aech), Toshiro (Daito), and Zhou (Sho). The group tracks down Samantha's location at IOI and they remotely help her escape, allowing her to assist them in the OASIS as Art3mis.

The third challenge requires one to play Halliday's favorite Atari 2600 game, in a castle on Planet Doom, which Sorrento has protected with a force field. Parzival recruits other OASIS players to help the rebels attack the IOI forces around the castle. Art3mis deactivates the force field, allowing Parzival to reach the console, but Sorrento activates the Cataclyst, a bomb that kills all the avatars on Planet Doom. However, due to having won a coin from the Archive's Curator earlier, Parzival gets an extra life, proceeding to play through Adventure to find its Easter egg; he is awarded the last key. He opens the gate and is greeted by Anorak and given a contract to sign; however, he recognizes it as the same contract Morrow signed to turn over his part of Gregarious and refuses. Anorak changes form, becomes Halliday, and reveals that the contract was the final test to make sure Parzival would not make the same mistakes he did. Parzival is given the Golden Egg and control of OASIS.

In the real world, Sorrento and Zandor fail to stop Parzival before he wins. They are quickly arrested for the bombing. Morrow, revealed to have been the Curator, offers his services to Wade. He gladly accepts. Wade decides to run OASIS with the other High Five, agreeing to ban IOI's Loyalty Centers from forcing people into servitude resulting in them being shut down and to shut down the OASIS twice a week for everyone to spend more time in the real world. Meanwhile, he and Samantha move into an apartment together.

Personality

Quick-witted and passionate, Wade dedicates his life to being a gunter by finding the egg fuels his desire to win. He is extremely knowledgeable in 1980s video games and spent a lot of time in hiding from his aunt to practice as much video games listed in Anorak's Almanac as possible. His determination is essential for his success in the contest.

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