Saturday, October 24, 2015

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

Anda likes playing video games and she becomes very involved in Coarsegold after a woman visits school specifically looking for girls to play the online game.  In order to encourage more female gamers the girls have to choose to play as female characters.  Shortly after joining the game Anda is approached online by a character who tells her she can make money by killing gold farmers.  Anda is okay with that until she begins talking to one of the gold farmers and discovers that he is a real person from China who is working in slave-like conditions.  While unsure what she can do, Anda wants to help her new friend and begins a crusade to try to stop the abuse of Raymond and his friends.

This book is timely what with Gamer Gate and I think it's a good idea to have something encouraging girls to come out of the closet about their gaming but the story is heavy-handed.  I think that without the lengthy introduction explaining the politics of gold farming readers wouldn't necessarily get the deeper meaning here.  I also think that the message overshadows the story.