Andrew's Reviews > Microserfs

Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
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Jun 24, 09

Read in June, 2009

Douglas Coupland takes on geek culture in this novel, once again seemingly linking directly into my brain and crafting a story written specifically for me and my ilk. (A visit to Nintendo of America's HQ? A character who has read Narnia 87 times? Sweet!)

Presented in the form of a bunch of Powerbook diaries written by the main character Daniel, Microserfs documents the transition of him and his friends from lowly Microsoft erm... serfs... to coders and developers at an exciting multimedia start-up working on their very first interactive game. Socially and romantically hopeless, they had thrown themselves headfirst into their work at Microsoft, wasting away years in a lifeless existence without fully understanding how they fell into it to begin with. But with this new start-up, they have a chance to start over with a clean slate, and maybe gain some sort of a meaningful life along the way.

Much like Generation X, Microserfs doesn't stress a complex narrative so much as as bunch of insights into the lives of those who can't quite fit into mainstream society, specifically the geeks. I didn't find it quite as deep as Generation X, but with the focus on the culture I grew up in, it hit very close to home.

(Gamer side note: It is interesting to see how Coupland, back in 1995, seemed to think that live actors would become a major role in video gaming in the future. As we all know, it didn't *quite* pan out that way, though live action motion capture to apply to in-game objects has grown immensely.)
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