Teenager Wade Watts lives with his aunt in the "stacks", a poverty-stricken district constructed of trailer homes piled on top of each other. He spends all his spare time as a "gunter" ("egg hunter"), logging on to the OASIS as an avatar under the moniker Parzival, reading Halliday's journal Anorak's Almanac, and researching details of the 1980s pop culture (such as classic video games and movies) that Halliday loved. One day, he realizes during a fit of boredom that the first key is located on the same virtual world as his own online high school, in a re-creation of the Dungeons & Dragons module Tomb of Horrors. He meets Art3mis, a famous female gunter and blogger that he has a crush on. (She named her avatar after Artemis, but that spelling was already taken. ) Art3mis had been exploring the place, but Wade is able to solve the puzzle first by defeating its adversary Acererak in the video game Joust. He is awarded the Copper Key, and Parzival appears on the "Scoreboard", attracting the entire world's attention.