Grew Up... desperate to be part of something cool. Living through increasingly glum times in the 2020s, young Nolan Sorrento got a job as an intern at Gregarious Games. He wanted to be part of the pioneering work of game designers James Halliday and Ogden Morrow, but he mostly just ended up getting them coffee.
Living... in Columbus, Ohio, in the polarized world of 2045. The wealthy mostly made it through the Corn Syrup Droughts and Bandwidth Riots okay, but the rest of the world was left in poverty and disorder.
Visiting... the OASIS, the expansive virtual reality entertainment universe that Halliday and Morrow created. Limited only by your imagination, you can do anything or be anyone you want in the OASIS. It’s where most people spend the majority of their time these days, but Sorrento is more interested in profiting from the OASIS than enjoying it.
Profession... CEO of Innovative Online Industries (IOI)—the second largest company in the world, with designs on becoming the first. Sorrento wants to take control of the OASIS and roll back Halliday’s ad restrictions to turn it into a full-on money-making machine. As he casually puts it while revealing his advertisement plan, “We estimate we can sell up to 80% of an individual’s visual field before inducing seizures.”
Interests... money, money, and more money.
Relationship Status... married to his job, presumably.
Challenge... taking full control over the OASIS. After his death, Halliday announced a contest: Whichever player is the first to complete three challenges, collect three keys, and find his Golden Easter Egg will be granted total control over the OASIS. It was meant to be a contest for true fans, known as “Gunters” or “egg hunters.” But Sorrento decided to streamline the process. He assembled a team of researchers to dig into Halliday’s life and favorite pop culture for clues. Meanwhile, he also opened “loyalty centers” where indentured servants are forced to work as faceless IOI Gunters known only as “Sixers.” It’s an intimidating army for everyday Gunters like Wade Watts, Aech, and Art3mis to square off against. Yet in five years, no one—not even the Sixers—have yet to complete the first challenge. It turns out it might need heart, not just soulless brute force.
Personality... greedy and ruthless. If Sorrento ever appears to have an actual heart, he’s almost surely faking it. He’s solely interested in making money, and he doesn’t care how many impoverished people he has to capture or even kill to do so.
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