Book Review by Aarene Storms: For the Win

Saturday, February 23, 2013

For the Win by Cory Doctorow
audiobook read by George Newbern
All over the world, kids play video games ... for money. They don't make much money, of course. Their bosses make most of the money, selling virtual treasure--magic swords, talking mushrooms, and virtual gold -- to rich gamers who are too lazy to play the games and earn treasure for themselves. Virtual economies are big business ... which is why the mysterious woman called Big Sister Nor is determined to organize the sweatshop virtual workers of the world into a real-life union.
Doctorow has written about an uninteresting topic with such riveting action that I found myself deeply immersed in the tale. Embedded in the story of the Webblies are mini-lectures about economics, politics, and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), which somehow, miraculously, are fascinating rather than boring.
The audiobook read by George Newbern was so captivating that I found myself volunteering to drive anywhere, preferably somewhere far away, so that I could spend more time in my truck with the characters in the book.

Highly recommended to readers who love gaming...and also to readers who don't love gaming but do love a good book. Ages 12 to adult; no sex, some violence, some cussing (in several languages).
The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern
Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach Library, KCLS


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