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Player vs Player

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Pushing for change can be dangerous when change starts pushing back.

Video game writer Niles River loves the work he does at Third Wave Studios: creating games with mass appeal that feature women, people of color, and LGBTQ characters. To make his job even better, his best friend is his boss, and his twin brother works beside him. And they mostly agree that being on the for
ebook, 282 pages
Published December 8th 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Julio Genao
Nov 30, 2014 marked it as to-read
of the presumably queer men mentioned in the blurb:

40 percent are in the closet
40 percent are related to one another
20 percent are described as "clingy"

*long, slow, calculating side-eye*
DNF at 45% and 3 stars. Yeah, I know that's weird.

I was really excited to read this book. There was going to be angst, a mystery, a hot cop, and best of all there were going to be serious discussions about issues like misogyny, racism and homophobia. And all of these things are definitely there, but I overlooked one key point: there was also going to be a whole lot of gamer stuff. Now you might shake your head and point out that the blurb, the title and the cover make it pretty clear that this i
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this was going to be romantic suspense with a m/m romance and that combination sounded great. It turned out to have a different focus.

The video gaming industry is front and center with a lens on discrimination practices by players and developers. The main character, Niles River, has just introduced a game that flies in the face of the stereotypes for women, people of color and LGBTQ characters. The haters come out in force spewing vitriol through social media and other outlets. When f
Wart Hill
Mar 04, 2015 marked it as gave-up

DNF at 14%

I feel like someone engraved all of the problems with gamer culture on the head of a sledgehammer and started beating me over the head with it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making a point.

But this book is way too heavy handed.

And when one of the protagonists makes a not even remotely funny joke about trans men? Yeah.

Not a book for me.

I received a free ARC via NetGalley
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Update: I was contacted by author Amelia Gormley who'd read my intial review. We had the best discussion about what I considered erasure of PoC cosplayers in this book and she explained why she went the route she did in regards to the character in question and it was a very thoughtful and nuanced response. I still had my reservations and still believe that geeks of colour are woefully underrepresented, but I appreciate an author who respects their readers and who know how to behave professionall ...more
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. I LOVE Amelia C. Gormley’s brain! Niles River and his twin brother Jordan River work together at Third Wave Studios, where they create first person player video games. Stop for a moment and re-read the first eight words of the previous sentence. I’ll wait. I KNOW, right? The twins were conceived while their parents, volunteering for Doctors Without Borders were volunteering and they believed the babies should me named to commemorate the trip on which they were conceive ...more
Dec 09, 2014 added it
Shelves: mm

Gamer vs Reader


I am a gamer and a reader and I am struggling with how to rate this book.

As a gamer I approve that this is even done.
I think 2014. was the year when lack of diversity in video games issue generated the highest number of discussions, essays, creative pieces and initiatives in media. It's not a problem tickled just recently, but Anita Sarkeesian and GG clusterfuck definitely made it mainstream and Colbert..well, he just sealed the deal.

Reader in me found this book...shoddy.
I didn't
Dec 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting characters, though I was suspicious of everyone, but that's just my nature. I don't really know much about the topic, but I wanted to see where the story went and how things were resolved. I wish there hadn't been quite so much death and the hate mail..ugh...terrible.
I appreciate Rosie and Niles's dedication, but there were a few times when I felt I was being more than just lectured to.
I wish there had been a little more emotionally development in our romance. I don't mind when the
2.5 stars.
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Well, this book was a downer.

It was stressful to read, it tackled too many made my head spin. The game-talk, the mystery, and the rather heavy focus on bullying/homophobia/misogyny/racism - all made for a dry and rather depressing read. Kudos to the author for being so passionate about all those socio-political problems, but the was it was expressed in the book was heavy-handed and preachy. To top it all, the romance plot-line was so thin it was practically non-existent.
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
3.5 Star Review on Prism Book Alliance

As I started reading, I had that settling in feeling I usually get from Gormley’s writing. It feels like an invitation to engage no matter the setting or subject matter.

I’m not a gamer, don’t do cosplay, and the last time I was really into comics, it was all about Star Wars and GI Joe. In other words, the detail about the world of gaming was sufficient without reaching a level at which I couldn’t understand what was going on. Context was used well in making
Tim Spohn
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-fiction, thriller
Let me start with: Player vs Player is not a romance novel. There is some romance, but it's a tiny part of the story.
This is first and foremost a great and suspenseful LGBTQ mystery/thriller about some intriguing poltical topics.

I'm a huge geek. Naturally I also enjoy videogames (though I barely have the time to actually play anymore). And the gaming subculture - as the Gamergate controvery last year showed - is still plagued by misogynie, homophobia and racist tendencies.
Try entering an online-
Shelumiel Delos Santos
I want to start off by pointing out that this book deals heavily on bullying—both cyber and otherwise. It is ugly; there’s no way to tone it down. And that’s exactly how the author handled it.

It is timely. This year has been an important year for an important issue in the bookish community, namely, Diversity in Literature. In the book, the main characters are harassed left right center for pushing social change in the form of non-sexualized women, queer and people-of-color characters in video ga
This was an interesting read, it's about time I got to read something which dealt with the white het-cis male gamer crap. Most of my friends are white het-cis male gamers and while they don't act like the dicks in this book, often they can't understand the difference between people bullying them while gaming and having people casually threaten to rape you for expressing an opinion which makes them certain you are either a "girl" or a "fag". I like that now I feel I have some better ways to expla ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is well worth a read for the truth it states. Props to the author for writing about the issues.
T.M. Smith
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Niles River is a Video Game Designer with a vision to create more diverse games that don’t put woman, gays or people of color into a tiny, one sided view box. While he and his twin brother are happy to bring this new face to the gaming world, they are also aware there are people out there that won’t be happy about their approach. Niles and Jordie have to deal with bullying, cyber bullying, a not so open crush and an ex-boyfriend that didn’t get the memo on the ex part.

While Niles is passionate
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm still a bit split about this book and this pretty much reflects how I feel about every aspect of it. I was really looking forward to reading this and enjoyed the sample - but when I began to read it in full, I wasn't massively keen on the first half of the book. It was a bit take-it-or-leave-it, but the second half picked up the pace and then some. Whilst I truly applaud the author in bringing to light the issues of societal inequity which was done in a very non-pushy way, it felt like there ...more
Jordan Brock
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
My experience in the gaming world is about six years out of date, but even back then, there was an overwhelming 'white maleness' of the culture. If you weren't one of these privileged elites, you were sidelined, mocked, and told to go play Bejeweled and leave the real games to real gamers. Both years I attended E3, a major gaming convention, I was overwhelmed by half-naked booth babes, beefy white male gaming avatars, and an absolute lack of diversity and acceptance.

Fast-forward six years, and I
James M. Shimabukuro
Well written mystery not a romance.

This is a ripped from the headlines mystery. I'm not a gamer but my daughter is. I have read a lot about gamergate because of that. What I've read has shocked and worried me. This is a subject the author obviously feels passionate about and was inspired by. I know some readers of her other work will expect certain things in this book and be disappointed but I liked it.
Helen Shaw
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was able to buy this at GRL yesterday. Read it in one sitting. Omg! It is excellent. Heart wrenching and scary in its realism. Adored all the main characters. And the resolution was thoroughly satisfying.
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Best gaming-related book I have ever read, but not an easy one as it was inspired by real hate acts against females in the gaming industry.
Love Bytes Reviews
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 star rview by Vicki

Wow. This is how you write a complex plot!

This book centers around a video game company called Third Wave that focuses on creating games that include characters who are generally NOT included in mainstream gaming. People of color, women, and LGBTQ characters. The company is owned by Rosena (Rosie), a woman who falls in to several of those catagories herself. Twin brothers Niles and Jordan Rivers work for Rosie, Niles writing storylines and Jordan in marketing. The gaming ind
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Murder suspense set within gaming culture and fandom make an interesting combination that works pretty well. Niles works for a gaming company as a writer for games that push boundaries with their focus on diversity. Plus, he is gay, and his boss is a confident woman of color. He (and his boss) get a lot of hate mail and harassment, but, this time, things go beyond harassment and get personal with murders that grossly parody their games.

I noticed reviews complaining the book was too political. It
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
My daughter is a gamer. I sometimes think she spends way too much time on the computer playing her games. Seems all her friends are there. She doesn’t seem to have many “real world” friends. But, she tells me, it is her coping mechanism and since I spend just as much time buried in my make believe world of books, who am I to say otherwise? So I sit, glassy eyed, as she goes on and on and on and on about what is happening in the guild or with her character when we are together. Consequently, when ...more
Devan Huff
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received one copy of this book at no charge from the publisher to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. Review first written on Nautical Star Books.

There aren’t many fictional books that truly leave me feeling smarter when I finish reading them. I am not a gamer at all. Mario Brothers is about as close as I come to a video game and even that is rare. To read in such detail about the design, marketing and culture that surrounds the gaming community was truly fascinating.

Niles and his t
Stephanie (the nerdy princess)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book looked very promising and the summery look like a book I would really want to read, except I forgot about one thing….GAMING…. I know nothing about gaming which in turned left me feeling a little retarded throughout this book.

Niles River and his twin brother Jordan River work together at Third Wave Studios, where they create first person player video games

Third Wave is owned by a Latina woman (who is als
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Review also @JustOneMoreBlogAboutBooks

*ARC courtesy of NetGalley*

Player vs Player is quite difficult to review for me: it has a non-fiction vibe - and that's not a genre I read often - since the romance or the mystery storylines are, in order of importance, way beyond the socio-political one.
As it was pointed out by other readers, I often got the impression reading this story of being lectured by the author and, while I get the importance of showing the wrongness about sexism, misogyny and homop
Joyfully Jay
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kris
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars

There aren’t enough stories portraying geeks in a positive light. This story was more murder mystery than romance, but it was written incredibly well, and I didn’t have an inkling as to who was behind it until just before the characters did.

A big part of this book is highlighting the misogynistic world of video games in general. It’s definitely something we all should be aware of, and it’s also fantastic to think of a gaming company that would be stretching its ro
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I reviewed my personal copy of this book for Wicked Reads.

People connected to Niles and the gaming company he works for, Third Wave, start dying and Tim, the former love of his life, is investigating. Niles is sweet, trusting and sees the good in everyone. Tim who was formerly in the closest in now out and has grown up.

The story is told from multiple points of view but is centred around Niles. Part of the story is told from the point of view of Rosie, Niles' best friend. She is intelligent, str
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an action-packed mystery with some romantic themes. While this book is a departure from the normal sweet and sexy romances in the m/m genre it is still worth reading. This story will grab onto you from the very beginning and doesn’t let go until the end. I loved the characters Ms. Gormley created and I would love to read another book with these characters.

This book revolves around Niles River, the head writer for a video game development company. However, we are given insight into not o
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Amelia C. Gormley published her first short story in the school newspaper in the 4th grade, and since then has suffered the persistent delusion that enabling other people to hear the voices in her head might be a worthwhile endeavor. She’s even convinced her hapless spouse that it could be a lucrative one as well, especially when coupled with her real-life interest in angst, kink, social justice i ...more

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