IN REAL LIFE by Cory Doctorow

IN REAL LIFE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 12 - 16

KIRKUS REVIEW

Online gaming and real life collide when a teen discovers the hidden economies and injustices that hide among seemingly innocent pixels.

Anda, a shy, overweight gamer and a recent transplant to Flagstaff, Arizona, is beyond excited when a guest speaker in one of her classes invites her to join in playing a massive multiplayer online role-playing game called “Coarsegold.” With her parents’ approval, Anda joins the presenters’ guild, a group of girls playing the game as girl avatars. Once in “Coarsegold,” Anda—known online as Kalidestroyer—is confronted by another guild member named Lucy, who asks her if she’d be interested in earning “real cash.” When she accepts, she’s pulled into a world of real-money economies where workers “play” the game, garnering items they can then sell for actual money to other players. Doctorow takes a subject that many people probably haven’t considered (unless they’ve already read his For the Win, 2010) and uses the fictional frame to drive home a hard truth: that many of the games we play or items we buy have unseen people tied to them, people who have their own struggles. Through Wong’s captivating illustrations and Doctorow’s heady prose, readers are left with a story that’s both wholly satisfying as a work of fiction and serious food for thought about the real-life ramifications of playing in an intangible world.

Thought-provoking, as always from Doctorow. (Graphic fiction. 12-16)


Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59643-658-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: First Second
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2014




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