Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recommended Reading: Your Video Game Future

These stories all imagine a future where video games or virtual reality have become an integral part how how we live, for good or bad.

F Card,O 
Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game.
In order to defend ourselves against an alien race that has been raging for over a hundred years, the military trains young soldiers in its Battle School using video game battle simulators. At 12, Ender Wiggins is selected to attend the school where he quickly becomes a leader in battle and possibly the only one who can save the human race.

F Cline,E 
Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One.
It is the year 2044 and the real world is not a nice place to  live in. So instead, most of humanity spends its time in the OASIS,  a virtual world where everyone goes to work, school or just to hang out. Upon the death of James Halliday, the billionaire 80s pop culture obsessed video game designer of the OASIS, an epic contest is announced. The winner must solve a series of pop culture related puzzles to inherit all of Halliday's money and gain control of his company. In 5 years  no one has even gotten close until teenager Wade Watts figures out the first puzzle. Now he is in a race to the end with the rest of the world either watching or trying to beat him to the end.

F Doctorow,C 
Doctorow, Cory. For the Win.
In the near future, millions of people are into multiplayer online games trying to win virtual gold, jewels and artifacts, which creates  a massive virtual economy. Some corporations decide to exploit this economy by setting up gold farming sweatshops in third world countries. These gamers collect the virtual wealth to sell to those in first world countries who want to skip the lower levels of game play. A group of teenagers around the world band together to take on these powerful corporations in a move that might even bring down the whole virtual economy.

F Falkner,B 
Falkner, Brian. Brain Jack.
After teenage hacker Sam Wilson manages to break into the near impenetrable AT&T network and takes out the world's infrastructure while trying to cover his tracks, he is recruited by Homeland Security, whose job it is to protect the internet. It is the near future and neuro-headsets have replaced keyboards.  People's brains are jacked right onto the network. It allows some very bad people to mess with user's heads—literally. It is up to Sam and his fellow hackers to stop them.

F Kostick.C Kostick, Conor. Epic.
Violence was banned many years ago on New Earth. All disputes are settled in the arena of a fantasy computer game called Epic. Everyone plays the game. If you win, you have the chance to go to college, fulfill your dreams, and get more supplies for your community. If you lose, your line online and off is not worth anything. In an attempt to get change the system and possible end the game, Erik and his friends find a way to challenge the masters of the game and rulers of New Earth, The Committee.

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