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In Ready Player One, Wade Owen Watts completes a perfect Pac-Man game to earn the quarter artifact that turns out to be an extra life. Whats amazing about this is that he completes this in his first attempt!

It usually takes years for anyone to be able to pull off a perfect game! Is there any in-universe explanation how Owen did it on his first try?

And no, Owen did not try before:

Because I knew Halliday loved the game, I’d already done a fair amount of research on Pac-Man. But I’d never managed to play a perfect game. Of course, I’d never really made a serious attempt. Up until now, I’d never had a reason to.

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    The sentence "I’d never really made a serious attempt." does not mean he had never played the game at all. It means that during his prior plays of Pac-Man, he had never seriously attempted a perfect game. – Eric Towers Nov 12 '17 at 21:45
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    I thought it was his midichlorians. – sjl Nov 12 '17 at 22:39
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    There are/were many differences between the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man and the arcade version. That said, a friend of mine taught me the perfect pattern for the Atari 2600 version and I played a perfect game of it the very next day. A perfect game being that you complete every level without dying (earning an extra life per level), with the ghosts becoming faster every level, until they are so fast you can't get to the first power pill before you kill then, and then you proceed to lose all of those extra lives in rapid succession. Game over. – Todd Wilcox Nov 13 '17 at 1:21
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He didn't do it on his first try at THAT place. It doesn't say it was his first try ever. He, like all gunters, played all sorts of 80s games so he could be as best prepared for the hunt and challenges as possible. There was probably a reference to Pacman in the Manuscript, after all, it is legendary game. It made sense for every gunter to play and get good at as many 80s games as they could get their hands on. He never played a perfect game, but he played Pacman before. It is his knack. Some gunters are better researchers, Wade is 80s game player.

Here's the quote on First Gate:

“And you just walk in here and nail it on the first try!” She started pounding her fist into the center of her forehead, and I realized she was pissed at herself, not me. “Listen,” I said. “It really was luck. I’ve got a knack for classic arcade games. That’s my specialty.” I shrugged. “Stop hitting yourself like Rain Man, OK?” She stopped and stared me. After a few seconds, she let out a long sigh. “Why couldn’t it be Centipede? Or Ms. Pac-Man? Or BurgerTime? Then I’d probably have already cleared the First Gate by now!” “Well, I don’t know about that,” I said.

Another quote:

I had several false starts. I would play for an hour, or even two; then I’d make one tiny mistake and I’d have to reboot the machine and start all over. But I was now on my eighth attempt, and I’d been playing for six hours straight. I was rockin’ like Dokken. This game had been Iceman perfect so far. Two-hundred and fifty-five screens in and I still hadn’t made a single mistake. I’d managed to nail all four ghosts with every single power pill (until the eighteenth maze, when they stop turning blue altogether), and I’d snagged every bonus fruit, bird, bell, and key that had appeared, without dying once.

He has a knack for video games, he played Pacman before, he extensively researched Pacman and it took him 8 tries at that place before he played the perfect game. And that perfect game took 6 hours; previous 7 tries took between two hours and 6. Which means he was trying to win it seriously for almost whole 24 hour day!

  • Contradicted by the book – TheAsh Nov 12 '17 at 19:30
  • Come on, do I have to pull out my copy of the book and find relevant quote? – jo1storm Nov 12 '17 at 19:31
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    Added it to the question. And yes, yes you do. – TheAsh Nov 12 '17 at 19:33
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    No, my answer is: He has a knack for video games, he played Pacman before, he extensively researched Pacman and it took him 8 tries at that place before he played the perfect game. And that perfect game took 6 hours; previous 7 tries took between two hours and 6. Which means he was trying to win it seriously for almost whole 24 hour day! – jo1storm Nov 12 '17 at 19:42
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    +1 - Wade himself says he has a knack for old school arcade games after speaking to Art3mis when he first gets the copper key... – Odin1806 Dec 17 '17 at 17:41

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