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In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

In Real Life

by Cory Doctorow, Jen Wang (Illustrator)

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5545627,073 (3.76)17



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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Beautiful art, sweet optimistic socialist story. Very good! ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
In his introduction to In Real Life author Cory Doctorow describes this graphic novel as "a book about games and economics". The story is about a girl named Anda who learns about the unequal distribution of wealth through her participation in a worldwide computer game. The book is well-written and beautifully illustrated, but as a non-teen, non-gamer, it did not particularly speak to me. ( )
  akblanchard | Mar 24, 2019 |
Honestly, Cory Doctorow has not impressed me. He has a solid grasp of humor and some tantalizing thoughts, but even that didn't come through in this one. It felt too preachy and single-minded. The main character could have been replaced with almost anyone and the story would have worked - she was just a cut-out designed to highlight gold farming and its effects on workers and unionization. There was little to no character development, and what there was felt forced.

I picked this up because it was praised as a feminist book and talked up as a shy, lonely girl who can be fierce and awesome in video games and learns confidence in real life from it. That's... there, I guess, but it feels half-hearted. There is one scene where the boys make fun of a girl for thinking D&D is equivalent to board games - insert "casual gamer" and "fake gamer girl" analogy here - and then at the end, the main character stands up for her, but she's never really mentioned in between.

Gold-farming is a thing, and exploitation of workers, but this felt like the rest of the story was shoehorned in here as a way to attract readers. If you want to write about gold-farming and develop that, do so. But this felt like it was trying to present itself as something else entirely.

The art was good, but not worth reading the story for.

I'd give it a pass. ( )
  kittyjay | Feb 28, 2019 |
Half the appeal of this book for me was the art because it is beautiful, but Corey Doctorow brings up brilliant points throughout. We see how economics in online games change lives in other places and also just how one girl has the power to help make change.

Popsugar Graphic Novel pick
( )
  rabidgummibear | Nov 28, 2018 |
A teen gamer, Anda, is invited on missions with real-world earning potential: money will be deposited in her PayPal account if she kills “gold farmers” in the game.

At first, Anda is excited by the opportunity to earn easy money, but soon discovers that the gold farmers she is killing are not game-generated “bots,” but people who make their living by harvesting in-game artifacts so their employer can sell them to players who want to acquire them without making their own effort.

In Real Life presents readers with a lot to think about. In the role-playing game community, who is exploiting the game — and are the ways that they do so, equivalent?

Other issues include ways that people might view themselves based on how they style their avatars, and ways that they treat people whom they perceive to not be like them. Complete review at http://cynthiaparkhill.blogspot.com/2017/08/in-real-life-by-cory-doctorow.html ( )
  Cynthia_Parkhill | Nov 24, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cory Doctorowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wang, JenIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Alice, as always, my kickass girl gamer and personal zombie-slayer. —C.D.
Thanks to Judy Hansen, Jake Mumm, and Yu Fong Wang. —J.W.
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Anda, wake up!
It's not surprising that gamespace has become a workplace for hundreds of thousands of "gold farmers" who undertake dreary, repetitive labor to produce virtual wealth that's sold to players with more money and less patience than them. The structural differences between in-game play and in-game work are mostly arbitrary, and "real" work is half a game, anyway. 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. - from the author's introduction
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"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. 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" --cover flap.… (more)

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