For the Win

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

According to my co-librarian, Mrs. Goldstein-Erickson, this is the kind up book that will keep you up way too late at night because you can’t wait to see what happens next.

I would recommend this book for:

  • Science Fiction fans
  • gamers who play online multi-player games (World of War Craft, etc.)
  • dystopia fans
  • readers who enjoyed Little Brother by Doctorow

Even though I am a huge SciFi and dystopia fan, I think I would have loved this book regardless of that.  In a nutshell, it’s the story of teenagers, mostly from different countries in Asia, who play online multi-player games for thier jobs.  Sadly, they are being hugely taken advantage of by the bosses: low pay, long hours, no health care benefits; in other words, they work in what we would call a “sweat shop.”  What they do is try to unionize all the online workers for fair pay and work conditions, and this makes for a pretty exciting story since the foreman of the crews and even the police don’t follow any of the rules we would expect them to, instead resorting to beatings and sometimes even outright massacres.  The characters are wonderful, including : Mala (aka General Robotwalla) who is a fifteen-year-old country girl working in Mumbai who commands a powerful virtual army; Leo from Orange County who calls himself Wei-Dong and fights along side his virtual pals in Asia; and Jie, known as Jiandi to the 12 million listeners of her internet radio show The Factory Girl, where she advises and cajoles them into standing up for themselves in the face of continual oppression by the factory bosses.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.  Be sure to check out Cory’s other book Little Brother, set in the Bay Area.

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