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Novels About People Playing Videogames

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message 1: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments On the podcast, Tom mentioned that Neal Stephenson's next book is going to be about the use of gold farming to launder money. This is just the latest in a string of books I've encountered over the last two years to have plots that revolve around video games.

Slum Online by Hiroshi Sakurazaka - Basically the old Paul Newman movie The Hustler retold with an MMORPG instead of pool.

This Is Not a Game by Walter Jon Williams - About an alternate reality game designer who gets caught up in a murder investigation and uses her game to crowd-source the mystery.

Wizard World by Yang Ping - An MMORPG player has to get his character back after a hacker steals it and starts ruining his reputation.

Zendegi by Greg Egan - What happens if game developers create NPCs so advanced that they deserve human rights?

All these stories have been marketed as science fiction, even though Zendegi is the only one where there's any revolutionary technology -- the rest feature tech that's only incrementally better than what we have today.

message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 778 comments Notwithstanding something I have said elsewhere on this forum, which is that you will drive yourself insane trying to demarcate the boundaries of any given genre, I would imagine that most of the above were marketed as science fiction because,

a)the writers were previously published sf writers and the new books were being marketed, at least partly, to their existing readers, and

b)marketers assume that sf fans and videogame fans are more or less the same demo.

message 3: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments Cory Doctorow's stort story, Anda's Game. I actually read it in comic book form, freely downloadable from

message 4: by Elie (new)

Elie Harriett | 56 comments The Exodus Gate by Stephen Zimmer. This is the first book in an epic fantasy series. It is an excellent book which focuses around a video game.

message 5: by Sandi (last edited Mar 30, 2011 09:47PM) (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments Halting State by Charles Stross is the first one that comes to my mind.

Monkeewrench is a mystery/thriller about video game designers.

message 6: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (masupert) | 215 comments I think the Otherland series City of Golden Shadow has a lot of video game elements in it from the littersl character in a video game, to the created worlds with the Other.

message 7: by Tom (new)

Tom (fermionace) | 39 comments Don't forget about Daemon and Freedom (TM). The key augmented reality technology grows out of online gaming.

message 8: by AndrewP (last edited Apr 01, 2011 08:09AM) (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2521 comments I believe Neil Stephenson Snow Crash takes place in a virtual world and was highly influential in the creation of the Virtual World Second Life. So in this case it kind of went full circle, characters in a book playing an online game to real people playing a very similar online game.
(I use the term VideoGame loosely here as most Second Life fans would argue that it is NOT a game in the traditional sense.)

message 9: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 839 comments Epic is a really good YA novel about a world where fights only take place in a virtual world. At least that's how I remember it, it's been some years since I've read it, but I really liked it.

message 10: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new)

Jlawrence | 964 comments Mod
Not sci-fi (outside of the title game being beyond commercially-feasible 80's technology) but Lucky Wander Boy is a brilliant and funny novel about one man's obsession with old video games (he's compiling a Catalogue of Obsolete Entertainments) that leads him on a quest to recover the rarest and most bizarre of all forgotten stand-up arcade games.

message 11: by Nevan (new)

Nevan | 143 comments Cory Doctorow's For The Win is based on gold-farmers in the near-future. It's a good read; short and interesting.

message 12: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Strickland | 11 comments It just feels like a more "realistic" version of the classic cyberpunk genre. Instead of it being a hyper-real internet, authors are using video games' similar natures to impart the same sorts of stories. Sigh, it sounds like the cyberpunk genre could really use a good kick start.

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