This is a book by Ernest Cline. It is set in 2045 an age of advanced virtual reality technology called OASIS that people all over the world use to escape the harsh lives they lived. Wade Watts is an 18-year-old boy who has a mission; To locate a certain Easter egg placed that James Halliday hid in the OASIS.
However, to find this egg, a player will have to locate three keys that unlock three different gates. Wade uses the avatar Parzival and locates the first hidden key (Copper). He meets Art3mis, a girl with an eye-catching avatar and some kind of romance begins.
Wade manages to unlock the initial gate by having to reenact the movie called War games. He gets the hint to where the second key (Jade Key) was located. He manages to crack it with Art3mis in an experience that involves several digital dates. Their newfound relationship causes a strain on Wade’s relationship with his best friend, Aech. Art3mis cuts off her communication with Wade eyes the main prize.
In the process of finding the jade key, Wade gets to play a game of Pacman to perfection and only manages to win a quarter. It seems useless to him. Art3mis finds the second Key first, then Aech and Daito and some sixers; who are IOI employees a company that seeks to gain control of OASIS. Aech gives a clue to Wade. Wade finds the third key (crystal) after re-enacting Blade runner, Black tiger and also Rush album. However, the Sixers had already found the Crystal key but did not know how door number 3 was supposed to be unlocked.
Wade and his partners manage to figure out unlock it by use of some of the knowledge they had on ‘School of Rock.’ There is a large battle of Mechagodzilla that was meant to stop the Sixers. Art3mis, Parzival, and Wade manage to unlock the gate, and simultaneously the sixers activate a mass destruction catalyst that kills everyone (in the game). However, Parzival is left standing, thanks to the coin he won, which granted him an extra life. He conquers the trials and finally finds himself in the office of the creator, Halliday. He meets the avatar Halliday used, Anorak. Anorak grants him immortality digitally and forwards billions worth of assets to him.
In the real world, Wade and Art3mis meet in person, where he professes his loves to her. They are to decide on how to use the fortune.