Ludus is a planet in OASIS created by Gregarious Simulation Systems to serve as the primary establishment for public education within the simulation. There were hundreds of school campuses on Ludus, spread out evenly across the planet's surface, the schools were all identical, because the same construction code was simply copied and pasted into a different location whenever a new school was needed. Separated by green fields, landscaped parks, rivers, meadows, and sprawling template-generated forests, since the buildings were just pieces of software, their design was not limited by monetary constraints, or the laws of physics, every school had polished marble hallways, cathedral-like classrooms, zero-g gymnasiums, and virtual libraries containing every (school board-approved) book ever written.
Unlike their real-world counterparts, most of the OASIS public school teachers seem to genuinely enjoy their job, probably because they didn't have to spend half their time acting as babysitters, and disciplinarians. The OASIS software took care of that, ensuring the students remained quiet and in their seats. All the teachers had to do was teach. Additionally, the software allowed simulations to aid in the teaching experience, enabling teachers to take their class to witness the discovery of King Tut's tomb by archaeologists in Egypt in AD 1922 immediately after showing them Tutankhamen's empire in its glory the day previous.
During the Halliday's Easter Egg Hunt it was discovered that the planet was the location of the Tomb of Horrors where the Copper Key could be found, resulting in vast swarms of Gunters and Sixers amassing on the planet. Due to this and the resulting Battle of Ludus, the planet was abandoned as an educational facility and the schools were relocated to Ludus II, an identical copy except that it did not have the Tomb of Horrors on its surface.
OASIS creator James Halliday had donated billions of dollars to fund the creation of the OASIS public school system on Ludus as a way to demonstrate the potential of the OASIS as an educational tool. Prior to his death, Halliday had also set up a foundation (Halliday Learning Foundation) to ensure that the OASIS public school system would always have the money it needed to operate. The Halliday Learning Foundation also provided impoverished children around the globe with free OASIS hardware and Internet access so that they could attend school inside the OASIS.
As anyone with a passing grade-point average could transfer to the OASIS public school system, the real government-run public school system, which had been underfunded and overcrowded for decades, soon became outmodded and replaced as the main school system in many countries.
Upon the public reveal that Gunters Art3mis, Parzival, and Aech had found the Copper Key, in a fit of jealousy fellow gunter I-r0k posted on the internet forums that both Parzival and Aech were students on Ludus. Deducing that the key must be on the planet, Gunters such as Shoto and Daito converged on the planet to find the key shortly before the entire army of the Innovative Online Industries' Oology Division locates the Tomb of Horrors and surrounds it with two force fields to prevent other players from accessing the tomb.
The biggest Gunter clans catch wind of this and amass on planet to destroy the force fields; shooting bullets, grenades, rocket launchers, nukes, and harsh language at the force fields to no avail until the clans purchase two very expensive anti-matter bombs and blow up both fields. With the fields down, the Gunter clan forces, unaffected by the blasts due to the planet's no-pvp zone laws, charge through the IOI forces and into the Tomb. This event became known as the Battle of Ludus.
Locales and Residents
OASIS Public School #1873
OASIS Public School #1172
Tomb of Horrors
- In ancient Roman culture, the Latin word "Ludus" (plural "ludi") means "school" in latin but it could also mean "sport" or "game".
- Ludus is a relatively small planet by OASIS standards, about a third the size of Earth's moon with a circumference of exactly one thousand kilometers. The planet was also perpetually set to a day time environment.
- Ludus is not the only educational facility in the OASIS, there were hundreds of private schools and universities located on other planets.
- As a place of learning, the planet was a non-PvP zone and had been created without a single quest portal or gaming zone anywhere on its surface.
- Students are required to give them their real name, avatar name, mailing address, and Social Security number. That information was stored in student profile where only the principal had access to it.
- Students weren't allowed to use their avatar names while at school. Instead, students were required to use their real first names, followed by a number to differentiate them from other students with the same name (eg. Michael3, Samantha4, Tim2).
- As a "school uniform" student avatars were required to be human and of the same gender and age as the student while on school grounds.
- While a class is in session, the simulation prevents students from accessing any data or programs that weren't authorized by their teacher to prevent kids from watching movies, playing games, or chatting with each other instead of paying attention to the lesson.
- While teleportation still cost money, Ludus emails newly enrolled students with a teleportation voucher to cover the cost of their avatar's transportation to Ludus. Additionally, Ludus schools give out free teleportation vouchers to any student who wanted to attend an "away game" being held at another school campus on the planet.
- School parking lots all over Ludus were filled with student-owned UFOs, TIE fighters, old NASA space shuttles, Vipers from Battlestar Galactica and other designs lifted from every sci-fi movie and tv show you can think of.
- Each OASIS public school had a bunch of different athletic teams, including wrestling, soccer, football, baseball, volleyball, Quidditch and zero-gravity Capture the Flag. These sports were played using elaborate sports-capable Haptic Rigs that required the user to do all of their own running, jumping, kicking, tackling and so on.
- In Ready Player One, it is stated that, before Ludus, Wade Watts avatar had never left Incipio.
- Wade Watts' favorite class was "Advanced Oasis Studies".
- Wade's school was OASIS Public School #1873 (OPS #1873).
- The Tomb of Horrors was concealed within one of the forests near Aech's school (OPS #0571).
- Ludus appears briefly in the Read Player One film during the introduction when Wade introduces the viewer to the OASIS.