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Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
The Easter egg represents rebirth, hope, and possibility. In gaming, an Easter egg is a message or hidden feature put in by the creator. The first Easter egg in a video game was a hidden part of the game that gave credit to the author. Halliday’s egg is a hidden part of the OASIS that gives wealth and power the person who finds it. Like a chick hatches from a chicken egg, the possibility of a better life is born when Wade finds Halliday’s egg.
The keys are a symbol of power and knowledge. To obtain a key, an individual must demonstrate their knowledge of Halliday and his interests. When someone holds a key, they unlock the power to progress to the next part of the game. Without the keys, the players are shut out of the chance to earn power and wealth that Halliday possessed during his life.
The OASIS is a symbol of utopia, abundance, and wish fulfillment, but it is also a symbol of a self-imposed prison. The name OASIS reminds the reader that it is like a fertile spot surrounded by parched desert. In reality, the OASIS is the place where everyone escapes their undesirable lives to experience everything they wish they could experience in real life. The OASIS speaks to the theme of the conflict between reality and illusion. The larger the OASIS becomes, the more it encourages, or forces, users to spend all their time in it.
IOI is a symbol of corporate greed, corruption, and disregard for humanity. Although IOI is already powerful, they do everything they can to gain even more power. They play dirty in Halliday’s hunt by forcing people to work for the Sixers, blowing up Wade’s trailer, and murdering Daito. IOI also treats its employees like they are cogs in a giant machine rather than individuals. Each member of the Sixers has an identical avatar and is only identified by a number rather than a name.