[Book review] For the win – Cory Doctorow

For those who went by my book recommendation of Ready Player One, you would know that Cory Doctorow was mentioned in the novel. So here I am, reading a book by Cory Doctorow!

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For the Win is one of those multiple pov books that can be terrible when executed terribly. Lucky for Doctorow, this one was done pretty well. The characters are distinct enough that you can figure it out.

The overarching plot is that people in eastern countries are subjected to terrible working conditions and we have someone named Big Sister Nor who wants to unite all unions to stick up for each other rather than each union only being responsible for their own sectors. The multiple povs are of different people working as gold farmers in different countries but treated equally as terrible and viewed as expendable by their bosses. We also have a Jewish high school kid who is a Sinophile who obviously, comes to the aid of his guild mates in China. And we have the pov of a person who actually works behind the scenes in these games.

Doctorow weaves a complicated but eye-opening story on video games, gold farming, and the economy. Seriously, it’s like Investorpedia using game terms with all the explanation of in-game economics that’s actually incorporated in the novel!

I highly recommend this book to people who like MMORPGs or want a book that will make you cry. We always hear about sweatshops and we all bleed our hearts for them BUT without putting a name or face to it, it’s still something that happens in a distant country. This novel (although fictional in its accounts), gives you that personal connection with the people on the other side: the woman who made your Nike shoes, the one who laboriously painted that replica painting you have, etc.

3/5 // Cross-posted on my book review blog: She Reads (anndreachan.com)