Book #3 for Mother Reader’s 48 Hour Book Challenge
Reading TIme: 5 hours
Workers of the World Unite! Let the Games Begin! It’s The Sting (Robert Redford, Paul Newman) on steroids and inside/outside a computer game!
Mr. Doctorow knows a lot about economics and about computers and computer games. I don’t know much about either.
Mr. Doctorow also has a gift for telling a good story. And he ties up the loose ends a lot better than the writers on LOST did.
I enjoyed this techno-thriller by author of Little Brother even though unions and computer games are not my thing. I learned a lot about economics and banking and derivatives and hedge funds currency and inflation and deflation, but I still don’t understand any of them.
The characters made the book:
Mala is a brilliant fifteen year old gameplayer from the Mumbai slum of Dharavi. Her nickname is General Robotwallah, and she leads an army of gamers in battle over the internet each day.
Jiandi is the host of The Factory Girl Show, broadcast over the net to twelve million Chinese factory workers every evening.She listens to their questions, give answers, and encourages the factory girl to fight for justice.
Leonard, aka Wei-Dong, is a seventeen year old game-obsessed high school student from Los Angeles who somehow ends up helping the Webblies, a new union of workers from all over the world, who are uniting to fight for better pay and conditions for illegal gameplayers and for other oppressed workers.
Connor Prikkel works in Coca Cola Games Command Central, hunting down illegal gold farmers and monitoring and adjusting the games to work as perfectly balanced economies. Connor is a gamerunner, and he hates “third-world rip-off artists” who cheat and mine the games for virtual gold and other assets.
Matthew Fong lives in Shenzhen in Southern China, and he’s determined to build his own successful gold-farming operation despite threats from the bosses and harassment from the police.
Big Sister Nor is the mastermind behind the Webblies, a union struggling to organize gamers from all over the world and get them just rewards for their labor and safe workplaces.
It’s a good book, even if I’m not so sure about the politics involved. By the way, you can download and read Doctorow’s book for free. Mr. Doctorow believes that he’ll make more money and everyone will be happier if he makes a name for himself by giving away his his books on the internet. My copy came from the library.