So, how many of you got new video games over the holidays? And how many of you have spent every waking minute absorbed in these games? I’m not even a gamer, but since Christmas morning, I have spent all of my non-eating, non-sleeping, and non-working time playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (a super amazing game, by the way). Apparently, I have a husband (who is lost in his own world of Saint’s Row: the Third)… and animals… but I don’t think I’ve seen any of them for at least 3 days. So, I decided yesterday that I wanted to put down the controller and immerse myself in a good book; one that would tear me away from my new game (for a little while, at least).
I picked up Ready Player One by Ernest Cline– and though I haven’t finished it yet, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite books of the year. It is the best of both worlds, great literary fiction and video games. If you’re at all familiar with 80’s culture or share a deep affinity for John Hughes, as I do, you will love this book. It takes place in the not-too-distant future when the world is ravaged by an energy crisis, constant war, and where everyone just yearns to step out of reality and into OASIS. OASIS is an open-source virtual reality that offers the bonds of friendship, school, entertainment, and sometimes even some money (comforts that don’t exist in the bleak reality of 2044). Wade Watts (named so because all great superheroes have alliterative names), eighteen and overweight, spends all of his time in his OASIS avatar and is a self-proclaimed expert on all things James Halliday (OASIS’s creator). When Halliday dies, he leaves a message to the users of OASIS telling them that he has buried 3 secret keys within the worlds of OASIS and only the most knowledgeable will be able to find them. Whoever finds these keys will inherit his fortune of $240 billion. Wade, and a couple million other people, are on the hunt for these keys, and a better life.
This got me looking into other video-game themed reads, of which there are quite a few. Here are some of the ones that I thought looked fairly intriguing.
So, if your eyes are going blurry, your thumbs are cramping, and your Xbox controller is slowly melting away from overuse, pick up Ready Player One or any other of these great books about gaming. Also, check out Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Teen Services website for their Get Your Game On booklist– which features even more titles to keep the gamer in you reading.
Happy New Year!
-Julie, CLP Beechview