Cover image for In real life
Title:
In real life
Author:
Doctorow, Cory, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : First Second, 2014.
Physical Description:
xii, 175 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
"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.
General Note:
"In real life was adapted from a story by Cory Doctorow called 'Anda's Game' first published on Salon.com in 2004" --Colophon.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781596436589
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

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. 

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash. 


Author Notes

Writer and activist Cory Doctorow was born in Toronto, Canada on July 17, 1971. In 1999 he co-founded a free software company called Opencola and served as Canadian Regional Director of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. For four years he worked as European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and in 2007 won its Pioneer Award. His first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, won a Locus Award for Best First Novel. His short story collection A Place So Foreign and Eight More won a Sunburst Award, and his bestselling novel Little Brother received the 2009 Prometheus Award, a Sunburst Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Doctorow also writes nonfiction books and articles, and he co-edits the blog Boing Boing.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* While in programming class, Anda is invited to join a girls-only fighting guild in a new MMORPG, and she jumps at the chance. Soon, she's recruited by another player for paid missions to exterminate gold farmers, low-level players who use the game for profit. It all seems like good, honest fun until she talks to one gold farmer, Raymond, a teen in China who is also playing the game, but for him, it's a job, and his working conditions are unsafe. Anda encourages Raymond to foment a strike, but it doesn't go well. Guilt-ridden, she attempts to find other ways to help, and she becomes more in tune with global injustice and labor issues in the process. Doctorow's story brilliantly ties together real-world economic and labor issues in the context of an online game, and he emphasizes the implications of actions taken in the gaming world that many players may take for granted. Wang's gorgeous, jewel-toned panels give lively, expressive shape to both chubby Anda's real life in Colorado and the fantastical battles in the game. The combination of girls-only gaming; gorgeous, stylized artwork; and a meaningful, sophisticated message about online gaming makes this a surefire hit for readers everywhere, especially girls.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In a heartfelt and of-the-moment story, Doctorow draws on his technology acumen and activism to portray the intricacies of 21st-century global citizenry, while also touching on what it means to be a gamer (particularly a female one). After joining the massively multiplayer online game Coarsegold, Arizona high schooler Anda meets Raymond, a boy from China who works as a "gold farmer," collecting in-game resources to be sold for real-world cash (a concept Doctorow explored in-depth in 2010's For the Win). Initially, Anda is led to believe that Raymond and his ilk are corrupting the game, but after she discovers their tenuous economic circumstances and poor living conditions, she begins urging Raymond to demand better treatment. It's a noble cause, but it comes with potential consequences for both Raymond and Anda. Characters come to life through Wang's (Koko Be Good) fluid forms and emotive faces, and her adroit shift in colors as the story moves between the physical and gaming worlds is subtle and effective. Ages 12-up. Author's agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Anda begins playing Coarsegold Online, a massive multiplayer game, after a gamer specifically looking for girls to play as female characters visits her school. Immediately adept at the game, Anda meets a player who tells her she can make money by killing characters farming for gold. These farmers sell gold to players, allowing them to essentially cheat at the game by quickly buying items they have not earned. Anda meets Raymond, a Chinese teen who works as a gold farmer. She learns about his real life-he works long days and has no health coverage. She encourages him to demand health care or strike, a choice that ends up having real-world ramifications. The narrative toggles between the in-game story and real life. The illustrations of the game are vibrant and dynamic, contrasting well with the muted browns and drab greens of Anda's reality. A detailed introduction by Doctorow about games, economics, politics, and activism serves to ensure readers "get" the story. The author attempts to tackle these large issues and others (like gender and privilege) but only does so superficially. The writing can feel heavy-handed, with the message overpowering Anda's voice. The problematic notion of a white character speaking for and trying to save minority characters (that all look identical) is addressed, but the too tidy ending makes that issue, and many others, feel oversimplified. The subject matter will have a built-in audience, and the appealing artwork will move this off the shelves, but readers may ultimately find the story unsatisfying.- Amanda MacGregor, formerly at Apollo High School Library, St. Cloud, MN (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.