Video Gaming in Fiction
I have enjoyed playing video games since I was elementary school playing Spyro the Dragon video games on a first generation PlayStation and playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64. In college I switched over to mainly playing video games through a computer by playing massively multiplayer online games. Currently I still play video games through my PlayStation 4 and on my desktop computer, but not as intensely as I have played games in the past. Video Gaming is a hobby I have enjoyed throughout my life and its great when two of my favorite hobbies can combine. I have come upon three books that have come out fairly recently that involve video gaming and have portrayed gaming in an accurate way. All three of the books are science fiction but portray how video gaming could affect the future in different ways; two of the books below are science fiction in that video games have become a large part of how people interact with one another and the last book has its protagonist using his video game skills to defend the human race from aliens.
Set in Los Angeles in 2050 most everyone has a djinni implanted in their brain that allows them to be connected to the web at all times. It also allows gamers, like Marisa and her friends, to plug into an online game called Overworld. The glimpses that readers get of the online game and how Marisa talks about the game with her friends is very realistic to my experiences playing games (though I’ve never had to plug anything into my head). I didn’t find it too far-fetched to imagine playing games through a device implanted in your head, just look at the games that are being developed for Oculus Rift or other virtual reality platforms. The sole focus of this book isn’t just on the gaming that Marisa does; the main mystery involves a new drug that has come into the market called, Bluescreen, that reboots the djinni and gives a high. However, there is more danger surrounding this drug and Marisa gets involved in a conspiracy involving drug lords. This is a high action novel and has a full cast of diverse characters and it has been a very fun read.
Bluescreen by Dan Wells. 9780062347879. February 16th, 2016. Gr 8-12.
Nixy is a a Leveller, which means she gets paid to go into the virtual world, MEEP, and bring a person who doesn’t want to leave back out into the real world. Almost everyone has a device implanted within your eyes that allows you to access the virtual world called, MEEP, and leaves your real body in a comatose like state until you log off the virtual world. Nixy gets hired by the game’s developer to find his son, Wyn, soon after Nixy logs into the game to find Wyn she knows something isn’t right. Wyn is being held against his will inside the game and Nixy teams up with Wyn to find out who is behind it. I didn’t find the gaming aspect of this book as believable as Bluescreen, however, it still is high action and romance, which results in a very enjoyable read.
Leveller by Julia Durango. 9780062314000. June 2015. Gr 7-10.
Zack has been been sitting in high school day dreaming when he sees an alien ship appear in the sky that looks straight out of his favorite video game, Armada. The alien ship is real and the government has been secretly training people to fight these aliens through video games and television shows. Zack and other gamers are quickly recruited to use their skills to take down the enemy aliens. I haven’t had the chance to read this book myself, but I have heard from others that is very well written and action orientated. I wanted to include in the three book I featured on this blog post because it fits well within the theme. From reading multiple reviews of this book it seems like the act of playing the video games isn’t a large part of the book and it involves Zack dealing with the loss of his father and conspiracy theories. Nonetheless, this book remains on my to-read and I look forward to reading it.
Armada by Ernest Cline. 9780804137256. July 2015. Gr 9-Adult.
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