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In Real Life: 12/11/14

cover art

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang is a graphic novel about MMORPGs. Anda, who loves video games is recruited to an all girl guild on Coarsegold Online. As long as she follows a few simple rules online (no bullying) and offline (no giving away personal information, no getting in the way of school work), then she can play.

Anda, though, has to find her way through the world of Corsegold and she is befriended by a bounty hunter. Sure, there's a chance to make real world money (thus breaking one of her mother's rules), but doing so, requires killing gold farmers (characters who do nothing but collect valuable items, rather than earning them through quests).

But Anda begins to see that there might be people behind the gold farmers. She gets curious — perhaps because she's such a new player herself. Thus begins her friendship with a particular gold farmer.

Online interactions come with consequences in the real world. That's the message here. In Real Life isn't a warning against women being bullied online, it's a more general story about how online communities can bring people together, for positive or negative results.

Five stars

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Friday, December 12, 2014 at 13:27:42


Is this YA fiction? I'm curious about it.

Comment #2: Friday, December 12, 2014 at 10:32:32


It is. Specifically it's a YA graphic novel and is one of this year's CYBILs nominations.

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