In Real Life

Cory Doctorow
Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer -- a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake. From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.


Reviewed: 2019-10-09

In Real Life successfully shows how integral gaming can be to some people's lives and livelihoods. Focusing on one girl’s introduction to online gaming, this YA graphic novel shows the reader what gaming can mean to a person. From the exclusionary practices common in male dominated gaming (tabletop and online) circles, to the warmth and welcoming feelings that can come from a supportive community. It even shows the distrust and misunderstanding that parents can have about playing games online, as well as the ways in which online games can be manipulated for the highest bidder. I highly recommend this book for young adults and older, especially parents who would like to build a better understanding of what gaming can mean to their children.

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