For the Win - Audiobook Review

I just finished listening to the audio book. For the Win by Cory Doctorow.  I found the this book to be vexing.  I found the characters interesting, but the plot is a big problem. When Doctorow writes about the actions and motivations it is compelling.  The story of what people do and why they do it, is the best part of the book.  Doctorow does a great job moving his character from happiness to fear to anger in a single scene.

I know this is a book of fiction and it is talking place in an undetermined time in the future.  It just feels like a future that is out of date.  I am not sure this future was still possible when the book was published.  I think the future was possible in 2007, but the world of MMORPGS does not dominate the world of online gaming anymore.

One of the odd things is the idea that there are people outside the games who are investing in commodity markets for things that happen inside the game.  This is just crazy to me.  I know this might be a metaphor for things happening in the other finical markets.  I just cannot see people writing bonds for stars in Mario MMO World.

The key idea of this novel is about gold farming.  The main idea is that games can't stop gold farming so they should make a deal with the gold farmers.  I do not think he made a good enough case for why game companies and regular players hate about game farming.  I've heard enough World of Warcraft players complain about gold farmers to know it disrupts the game.  I wanted to hear one person at "Coca Cola Games" to say, "Lets design the next game in a way where there is no gold to be farmed."

Cory Doctorow spends a lot of this book inditing all sorts of organizations, giving economics lessons, and being didactic.  I think telling us about the games economists is the weakest part of the book.

I listened all the way to the end because I wanted to hear what happened.  I felt bad for the characters that get their ass kicked by the police and mobsters.  I wanted to see the characters work their way through this world, but I just wished the world was a little more real.   

I think this is worth your time, but it might bother you at times.  


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