In the virtual future, you must organize to survive
At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual "gold," jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world's poorest countries, where countless "gold farmers," bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.
Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of "General Robotwalla." In Shenzen, heart of China's industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.
The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister's people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.
Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Doctorow uses video games to get teenage readers to think more about globalization, economics, and fair labor practices in this expansive but ponderous story. Set, like his earlier Little Brother, in a near-future world, it centers on attempts to unionize teenagers who work within massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) as gold farmers, employed to raise game gold and find magic items to be resold, or as Turks, who help police the virtual environments. Employed for minimal wages under horrible working conditions sometimes in near slavery these children, led by a global group of fierce and talented gamers, band together, subverting the MMORPGs to take on their corrupt local bosses and the corporations that own the games. As usual, Doctorow writes with authority and a knack for authentic details and lexicon, moving between impoverished villages in China and India and inventive video game worlds. But the story founders under the volume of information he's trying to share the action is interrupted by lectures on economic principles, sometimes disguised as conversations and an unwieldy cast of characters. It's undeniably smart and timely, but would have benefited from tighter editing. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good, but not what I expected.
To start, overall I liked this book. I bought it because it seem like a story about video games, but it ended up being more about economic concepts than anything else. After sections of story there were long sections explaining concepts that were virtually useless to move the story along. The author also spent a lot of time writing about the world outside the games. Overall I liked it but there was too little time spent on things other than video games. If you want a story about econimics and unions p, this is the book for you!