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The biggest book tour in history is taking place on . . . Roblox?

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November 24, 2020, 1:01pm

We’ve all had to adapt to the pandemic, and some have adapted more quickly than others—maybe none more so than Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One, who is touring his new book Ready Player Two on the virtual platform Roblox.

The Ready Player Two promotional event will start with a Q&A with Cline and Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki at 1 pm EST on December 1st; then users can hunt across seven “experiences” to win special Ready Player Two Roblox gear. (These words mean very little to me. I have never used Roblox.) The Q&A will hold clues to the treasure hunt, as does Ready Player Two itself, which comes out today.

This kind of digital collaboration is, unlike these times, not unprecedented. Phoebe Bridgers has performed in Minecraft; Animal Crossing has hosted poetry readings; Lil Nas X performed a concert in Roblox which racked up a whopping 33 million views. The popularity of these events bode well for the Ready Player Two tour; Roblox and Cline are touting the Ready Player Two tour as the “biggest book tour in history,” which honestly could be true, as Roblox has 150 million users.

This news feels a little dystopian . . . what’s stopping digital tours from replacing in-person tours? Fast forward a few years and my haptic gloves could be mimicking the sensation of turning pages as my nutri-cube pumps Powell’s Books’ book-scented fragrance into my nostrils. But Ernest Cline isn’t just any author; he’s particularly suited to collaborate with a virtual universe, considering his books are about, well, virtual universes. It makes me wish we’d thought of this earlier, so books could be promoted on matching platforms: Never Let Me Go on the Sims. Deep Down Dark on Minecraft. The new Franzen trilogy on Club Penguin. I’m smiling emoji just thinking about it.

[via Yahoo News]

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