It's around 2040, when almost all of the natural resources are already exploited and the "human" world is rapidly declining. I say "human" because at the same time the online alternative reality called OASIS is the place everyone wants to be in. You can go to school, shop, have fun. have sex.. When the billionaire inventor of the "game" dies, he leaves a quest in order for one person to inherit everything. The clues can be found through the immense knowledge of the 80s. The inventor, being a teenage during the 80s, hide the clues in the period that he most enjoyed.
During the book we see the quest through the eyes of socially awkward nerd who struggles to win and at the same time makes friendships that goes beyond those of his avatar.
I have to say that although I'm a little young to have played all those video games and remember the details of all those moves I still found the book extremely engaging and I could't put it down. I finished it in one day!