In the future gaming is serious business. Like multinational corporations and the economies of nations depending on it kind of serious business. Kids in poor countries around the world work in dank factories playing games for days at a time to level up, mine materials, and find loot in game worlds to sell it on the black market to gamers that want a quick win. Large corporations have hidden their wealth within the games’ economies to avoid taxes and regulations. The story follows several teens from around the world connected by games and their yearning for better treatment for all workers, but when they start to join an online union movement they find themselves in very REAL danger. They’ll have to crash the system if they can ever hope to win.
Did you know that globalization, economic justice, unionization, and economics were fascinating? Neither did I till I read For the Win. Heck, I didn’t even know what a lot of them were! Doctorow does an admirable job of taking very complicated real world problems and making a fictional world around them. He did the same for issues of personal freedoms and individual liberty in his previous book Little Brother. This one is a good deal bigger in both size and scope them Little Brother, which is both good and bad. It’s good because this is a huge story tackling huge issues, and for the most part it works great. It’s bad that at times there are so many characters and smaller plots that some readers will get lost. This is a complicated and deep book, but it is usually very fun. I loved the game worlds that Doctorow came up with. Since he sets it in a near future everything is familiar, but the games are way cooler. If you like online gaming, then I think you will really be drawn into this book. If you want something that is exciting but will also make you think, pick this one up.