In Ready Player One Wade manipulates his assumed identity in order to be arrested and placed in indentured servitude in IOI's tech support department. During his shift people ask him questions about Oasis items like swords. IOI is an ISP (Internet Service Provider) while the Oasis is a console. Nobody would call up Verizon or AT&T and ask them why their Xbox in-game-purchase wasn't working.

We also see earlier on in the book that Wade worked 40 hours a week for a GSS subcontracted tech support firm. What service was IOI therefore providing?

  • 19
    Nobody would call up Verizon or AT&T and ask them why their Xbox in-game-purchase wasn't working. - Citation needed. This seems like the kind of dumb stuff uninformed customers would definitely ask their ISP.
    – Theik
    Nov 29, 2018 at 13:58
  • 1
    The contact page for this very site (found at the bottom of every page) has links to Facebook, Google, and Yahoo support explicitly because people try to contact Stack Exchange to solve problems that have nothing to do with the site.
    – Laurel
    Nov 29, 2018 at 17:35

2 Answers 2


"A large portion of IOI's business centered around providing access to the OASIS and on selling goods and services inside it."

  • pg 33 - Kindle Edition

Yes they are an ISP but they are also selling in-game items- so it makes total sense that somebody may have a question about such items


In this instance, a customer bought an item at auction and then wasn't able to use it. So there are two possibilities.

  1. IOI was the seller (they probably get a lot of surplus items with their army of sixers) so this customer was calling them direct because he couldn't use the item he bought from them.

  2. IOI is the auction house ( like eBay ). So the customer was calling IOI to try and get a refund or log a complaint. Just like you might do if you had a bad deal on eBay. And the customer doesn't have to be logical, "Jo schmo sold me an item I cant use, but I'll call IOI to complain because they allowed the deal to happen" kind of thing.

Jontia notes there is also the chance that as part of the ISP service, IOI may provide general technical support for the Oasis (since it seems to the only service anyone uses).

  • 3
    A 3rd option is that IOI simply offer a general Oasis tech support service because they're such a big company, realised they were getting calls about it and decided to put their slave workforce to use. Why GSS don't offer that sort of service, or if they do why punters aren't using it is a bit of a mystery.
    – Jontia
    Nov 29, 2018 at 14:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.