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In Real Life

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  8,506 ratings  ·  1,068 reviews
Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. 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.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer--a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game
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Paperback, 175 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by First Second (first published 2014)
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David Muniak Like most of Cory Doctorow's books there are a bunch of layers.

Here's the layers that show up (at least to me):

Economic differences in why people play…more
Like most of Cory Doctorow's books there are a bunch of layers.

Here's the layers that show up (at least to me):

Economic differences in why people play games (Gamers vs Gold Farmers)

Ethics of real money interacting with game balance (Gold farming as a job and receiving real money to raid other gold farmers)

And also the unionization/organization positives and negatives (Working together to get healthcare, but also the first person speaking up being made an example of).

The moral I took from this was that communication can bridge gaps and can accomplish much.

She joined the game because the guild leader reached out.
She learned of the gold-farmers plight because she talked to one instead of just killing.
By helping spread the call-to-action she helped make the gold-farmers work place a better place.

And by speaking English with Raymond she actually improved his life (though not without setbacks)(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lola
A good read for gamers and lovers of graphic novels!
description

The first thing I noticed was actually the atmosphere of the story and how it, along with the drawings, immediately gripped my interest.

It doesn’t always feel like there is a plot, but that’s what, in my opinion, makes it so realistic. It’s contemporary and, as life, not always predictable.

Anda is not your usual YA protagonist. She isn’t the high school queen or popular or super skinny, but she’s herself and a very good person who thinks of ot
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Raeleen Lemay
FABULOUS GRAPHIC NOVEL.

The only thing I would change would be to make it longer! I would love to read more about this, and I generally just feel like there needs to be more fiction that involves gaming. IT'S AWESOME.

I would recommend this for people who like Ready Player One, or just enjoy beautiful art and games.

Now I'm just rambling, but you get the point. This book was beyond awesome.
TheBookSmugglers
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In Real Life, this new graphic novel written by Cory Doctorow with art by Jen Wang is full of them. In its heartfelt introduction, Cory Doctorow says that In Real Life is about game and economics, about the – political, economical, social – choices that we make on a daily basis and their consequences. About how social media and the Internet can potentially shape and change the world.

The book portrays how Anda – the shy and lonely main character try
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I was NOT expecting to love this as much as I did, but HOLY MOLY I LOVED IT.
Rachel ♥Reads Ravenously♥
Really, really enjoyed this gem of a graphic novel. The fact that it was about girl gamers was just the cherry on top of the sundae :)
Sarah
I got this book via Net Galley and my feelings on it are very mixed, but lean towards the negative.

Pros:
- The art is really good, particularly at making the main character Anda's avatar show emotions with her face
- It's about a girl gamer which is awesome and is in the context of encouraging more girl gamers
- And it's a chubby girl!

Cons
- Fundamentally this is a book about how white people who try to play 'savior' to people of color when they don't know anything about the culture in question...
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Kristina Horner
I loved this book! I was drawn to it simply because of that gorgeous cover, but the story itself was surprisingly poignant and sweet. The main character was such a complex, kickass girl and the fact that a "book about gaming" tackled such important topics and bullying and health-care needs was a refreshing change of pace in a world where society's perception of gaming is still so full of misunderstanding and judgement.

I wish it was longer! I wish I could play Coursegold Online! Highly recommende
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Patrick
A cool graphic novel that touches on subjects that a lot of people probably don't think about. The internal economy of the online games we play. How different cultures interact in these games.

A fun read, light and pleasant, and hopeful. It's nice to read something hopeful every once in a while...
Sesana
I probably should have liked this more than I actually did. I am a gamer, even if I don't play MMOs. I do appreciate Doctorow for pointing out how intimidating it can be to be female online. But that's basically abandoned as a storyline almost immediately. I'm happy he addressed it (though it's obviously much safer for him, as a man, to mention the issue than it would be for a woman) but it's just kind of mentioned once or twice then forgotten about. The book isn't about that, but I sort of wish ...more
Jessica (priceiswong)
Really enjoyed this!!
First Second Books
Oct 16, 2014 First Second Books marked it as first-second-publications
With all the kerfuffle going on in gaming circles right now about the inclusion of women in video games, I'm so glad that Cory and Jen have created this book with a girl main character who loves and plays video games.

More than that, I'm glad that this is a story where the fact that Anda is a girl never comes into question. Of course she's a girl. Of course she loves video games. Of course they're important to her in both her online and offline lives, and influence how she thinks about life in ge
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Samantha
3.5 stars!

As many have said, this book was more than I thought it would be.

WHAT I LIKED:
- cute art style
- had elements of well loved RPGs as well as mentions over other board games and table top games
- female character focused
- bigger issues about gaming and economics covered

WHAT I DISLIKED:
- too short. It felt a bit rushed and there wasn't much character development
- predictable. The story went down the path I expected.
- not very detailed. The frames were very basic and I didn't have
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Lisa
A digital ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

tl;dr: Teenage Anda is a girl gamer who gets caught up in Coarsegold, her favorite MMO, where she feels invincible, powerful, and wanted — until she meets Raymond, a poor Chinese teen who also loves Corasegold, and discovers things are not all that they seem. Raymond, it turns out, works illegally within the game to make money on the outside to survive. Lines between right and wrong get blurred pretty quick while Anda balan
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Mario
This is such a good graphic novel. I really enjoyed it. Wish it was longer, though
Erica
This is pretty cute!

There are some great things in this book:
1) Anda could be any girl. She's chunky with brown hair and not-white skin. She could represent pretty much any non-standard teenage female, especially any gamer girl (in that she's not the petite, blonde cheerleader type)(which isn't to say petite, blonde cheerleaders don't play video games; I'm sure plenty of them do but that look is not the stereotype for girls who are geeks and this story is not about busting cheerleader stereotype
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Raina
Soooooo good.
Lindsey Lynn
Being a gamer, I love love loved this graphic novel. It was so true to a lot of things you see in gaming. Especially as a girl. I personally met my boyfriend and love of my life thru a video game. They are a wonderful place that people are apprehensive to explore but given the chance can be magical. This portrays that wonderfully. I just wish this was a bit longer or will have more to follow. Loved this plot and the art oodles! I recommend it to everyone!
Pamela
Aug 22, 2014 Pamela rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
You've probably all seen the famous New Yorker cartoon with the dog on the computer, telling his buddy, "On the internet, no one knows you're a dog." And for many, that's the appeal, isn't it? On the internet, you can be whomever you project yourself to be. In gaming, you can create an avatar that looks nothing like your physical body (or to be a bit more geeky, your meat body). Yet, we also like to pretend that what we do on the internet doesn't have repercussions in the "real world." We call t ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cory Doctorow likes to use fiction as a way to explore issues that matter to him - censorship, privacy, creativity, virtual world gold mining, girl gamers - some of his works do this very successfully and enjoyably, like with Little Brother, and others are a little too thinly veiled for my tastes, such as Pirate Cinema. This graphic novel, based on the short story Anda's Game, falls somewhere in between.

The story isn't qu
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GG
This empowering story spotlights female teenage gamers and also sheds light on unfair Chinese labor conditions. Cory Doctorow's introduction provides perspective on the economics of gaming, the history of humans working together in real life and in person, and the rewards of fighting injustice. I was completely engrossed in this read and enjoyed the beautiful illustrations, the interesting avatar creations juxtaposed with their real life counterparts, and the online gaming camaraderie that feels ...more
Wendy
This is a graphic novel about gaming and economics, as it states in the long intro that perhaps delved more deeply into these topics than the actual comic does. In Real Life also claims to explore the role of gender in gaming. It stars a young girl named Anda who, along with others in her class, are invited to join a guild in the multiple online roleplaying game, Coarse Gold. The stipulation is that she must choose to play as a female character. When Anda enters the game, we learn why through a ...more
Rincey
First book for Bout of Books completed.

Liked the art a lot and the general messages of the story, but it is super, super short and I wish the storyline was fleshed out a little bit more to really expand on the ideas and plotline.
Lisa
I loved this graphic novel that features a very likable protagonist: Anda. Anda is an reserved, chubby high school student who finds her niche as a gamer in an all-girls guild. This is completely outside of my sphere of experience as I've never played an on-line game in my life, but the plot was accessible and I felt like I could relate to what Anda was going through. Anda makes some real connections inside of this on-line game. Now this is my jam completely as I have made some of the strongest ...more
Janna Marie
This was such a cute story!

Since reading this graphic novel, I've read through some other reviews and noticed a quite a bit of controversy. I'd like to say a few things about the story, simply because I think we need more people shining a more positive light on the subject.

Popular Complaint: It's about "white people playing savior to the other races of the world."

My Take: This story is about human rights across the world AND how the internet allows us to connect in unique ways. This young girl
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Jessica
somuchlove

This book managed to cover a WIDE variety of topics in what seemed like a ‘short’ book. I love anything with girl gamers, so imagine my surprise when a girl gamer, gets a lesson in game economics, and uses that to be an real-world activist. She even makes a new friend in the process.

I loved this book. It brought up a great topic that was brand new when I started playing MMORPG’s. What I do remember is that ‘once upon a time’ gold farming concept was new and gaming wise, it was a great way to ge
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Rinn
I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

When I saw this book on Netgalley, my first thoughts were ‘YESSS a graphic novel about video games!’ and that the cover art was completely gorgeous. The instant I was approved, I sat down and read it in one go.

The story begins with our small-town protagonist, Anda, being introduced to the world of Coarsegold Online. I wasn’t sure about the way it was introduced to her – a
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Michel Pencinni
Review

This was an enjoyable little graphic novel with a very pretty and interesting art style. If you're a gamer -especially MMOs- you will most likely be drawn to it and enjoy it. The story is heartwarming and it is a very fast read. The only minus would be that perhaps it is rather short and since the art and story have so much potential it might leave you wanting more.


+ If you enjoy MMOs
+ A great book for young gamer girls
+ Positive portrayal of female gamers.
+ Interesting world
Rita
3.5 stars

I read this graphic novel in a sitting and I enjoyed it, but there were also things that did bother me.

Here are my initial thoughts:

1. The artwork is beautiful as well as the color scheme throughout this graphic novel.
2. Feminism for the win in the video gaming world was also a big plus.
3. I think that the story was way too short, so that a lot of things (especially the subject concerning the factory worker's rights) were not told as detailed as they could have been.
4. I loved Anda's gr
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Melissa
I read this first as the short story "Anda's Game" (although I can't figure out where I read it, which is sort of driving me crazy). It's possible that I would have liked this a bit more if I hadn't, but as it is, this is too short to invite investment in Anda. The artwork is pretty swell.
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12581
Canadian blogger, journalist and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing.

He is an activist in favor of liberalizing copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books.

Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, Disney, and post-scarcity economics.

http://us.macmillan.com
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More about Cory Doctorow...
Little Brother (Little Brother, #1) Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Homeland (Little Brother, #2) For the Win Makers

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“Most of the people you see going to work today are LARPing (live-action role playing) an incredibly boring RPG (role-playing game) called "professionalism" that requires them to alter their vocabulary, posture, eating habits, facial expressions--every detail all the way down to what they allow themselves to find funny.” 6 likes
“This life is real too. We're communicating aren't we?” 4 likes
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