Anorak's Invitation is a video message that formally announces Halliday's Easter Egg Hunt.
James Halliday — the video game designer and creator behind the OASIS — had programmed the invitation to be e-mailed to "every single user" within the OASIS after his passing. The invitation is about five minutes in length and is described as a meticulously constructed short film with an array of '80s pop culture references. Wade Owen Watts mentions that Anorak's Invitation becomes the most scrutinized film in history due to the hunt.
The Invitation (Detailed Account)
The video message opens with "Dead Man's Party" (1985) by Oingo Boingo playing in the background. Through a dark screen, a young Halliday suddenly appears, shifting the setting to a high school dance. Everything, from the hairstyles to the clothing, is from the 1980s. Halliday is seen dancing and singing to the song.
Halliday abruptly cuts off the music and stands still, and the dance-goers disappear. The scene cuts to funeral in which he stands in front of his own open casket. At this time, Halliday turns to address the mourners of the funeral and the message view, snapping his fingers to trigger a scroll. He reads from the scroll, which is essentially a formal will, and says the words faster and faster until stopping in mid-sentence. Halliday then admits that reading the entire will would take too long, so he would just give the highlights:
"My entire estate, including a controlling share of stock in my company, Gregarious Simulation Systems, is to be placed in escrow until such time as a single condition have set forth in my will is met. The first individual to meet that condition will inherit my entire fortune, currently valued in excess of two hundred and forty billion dollars" (Ready Player One, 4).
Halliday then walks through the door of an enormous vault containing stacks upon stacks of gold bars.
The one condition that an individual must meet is finding the Easter egg that Halliday himself placed within the OASIS. Whoever finds it would inherit his entire fortune.
Halliday was inspired by the game Adventure (1980). A man named Warren Robinett created the first Easter egg by hiding his name within the game's code (which is shown in a secret room if the player finds the right path of the castle in one of the mazes levels).