In Real Life (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

In Real Life (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by Cory Doctorow


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Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer -- a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake. From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780606382199
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 10/14/2014
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: GN390L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Cory Doctorow is a coeditor of Boing Boing and the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He writes columns for Make, Information Week, the Guardian online, and Locus. He has won the Locus Award three times, been nominated for the Hugo and the Nebula, won the Campbell Award, and was named one of the Web’s twenty-five influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He hopes you’ll use technology to change the world.

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In Real Life 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The artwork is stunning and thr plot discusses moral boundries without making the book seem "serious". Would recommend!
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I’ve always loved video games. One of my favourites, World of Warcraft, is similar to the game Coarsegold that Anda plays in this book. This book shows both the positive and negative parts of gaming. Anda’s mother was worried about Anda playing games online. She didn’t want her to speak to strangers. She told her to only speak to kids her age, but you can’t tell how old someone is online. Her suspicions were validated when she sees strange deposits into her PayPal account, which was from the gold farmers that Anda had stopped in the game. There are also good sides of gaming. Anda made a good friend from another part of the world, which wouldn’t have been possible without the game. She even helped organize a protest for the gold farmers to get health care provided in their jobs. The game taught Anda how to be a better person, much to her mother’s surprise. I really enjoyed this book, and I recommend it for kids and adults!
alyssama121 More than 1 year ago
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This is an honest review.* I was incredibly taken in by Jen Wang’s artwork. I originally requested a copy of this book because I really like Cory Doctorow and thought the summary of the book looked interesting, but one of the strongest points of the book was the artwork. It helped a lot in terms of feeling the difference between Anda’s gaming world and how fantastic it was as compared to her “real life” outside of the gaming world. I also think that the way that the Chinese gold farmers were illustrated did a lot to communicate their situation. Overall, book is an interesting idea of playing with the idea of “real life” as the title implies. The conceit of the book, that real life can be in play even in these fantasy worlds of MMOs, was a really interesting one and something that I think a lot of people probably do not think about overly much. It felt like a very realistic portrayal of a teenager who is able to escape into a game, and I was never taken out of it by the reaction of her parents (being overly protective) or her fellow gamers, who maybe took the game a little too seriously. It all felt incredibly plausible in a general sense. That said, I am not entirely sure how strong I felt the solution to the main issue of the book was. I think that bringing in the idea of organized labor was interesting and something that makes a lot of sense. I feel like the conclusion of the book just progressed too quickly, however, and as a result, felt like it was not a fully developed conclusion. I thought the idea was brilliant and really liked the friendship that was built, but was just left feeling like something was missing. That said, I love Doctorow’s worldview and conviction that the internet is going to potentially lead to people being able to come together and solve some of these bigger problems around the world. This book is definitely worth a read, and I would love to see a follow up to the story.
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
Anda recently started playing Coursegold Online, a massive multiplayer role playing game. She loves it, especially when she discovers how to make real-world cash from it. Then she meets a young Chinese boy whose family and future depend on the money he earns from scamming the game, money Anda scams from him. The way both of them earn the money is morally wrong, and yet there is more depending on it than Anda first thinks. In Real Life is a graphic novel about a teen girl playing a video game. The graphics were pretty good. They illustrate the story, the video game world, and most importantly, the differences between them. I mean, they are obviously different universes, but first time players can sometimes get mixed up between the fantastic beauty of the avatars verses the actual appearances in real life. That wasn't the issue in this book, but I was glad it was there all the same. The real issue was the ethics of online game economics. It is ethically wrong to spend the time in the game only "farming" the resources for their gold in order to gain money in real life. The game isn't meant to be played that way, which is Anda and her friend stole from those farmers. But the book digs deeper into why the characters were farming the resources in the first place and examines it in the light of ethics and human need. The story does well in explaining it, and it is something people need to hear. However, that is the plot. It is so strong on the message that the plot isn't very compelling. Maybe the author wrote the story to fit the message? In Real Life is an interesting graphic novel for teens that addresses some of today's problems in MMO's through story. I received a complementary copy of this book. All opinions are my own, and I did not receive compensation.
JessicaOpal More than 1 year ago
In Real Life was a spectacular book and a wonderful story that I am very glad that I read. This book creates a beautiful connection between gaming platforms and the economy. It really shows the reader how people around the world are all different. Especially how fortunate some of us are compared to others across the world. In the story the main character Anda signs up for the online game Coarsegold where you can play and chat with people across the world. As she plays she meets Raymond, a 16-year-old boy from China who goes against the rules of the game to get paid real money from other players. Anda soon discovers that he is in a bad place and needs money. Raymond has no health insurance and needs it for his back pains that he gets from his job. This story of Raymond and his position in the world really shows the reader how fortunate they are. It makes you realized that the fact that you’re even holding a book in your hands and have leisure time to read, makes you a lot more fortunate than others. As Anda starts to do research on Raymond’s situation and how to help him she starts to realize how lucky she is. I think the most powerful part of the story is when Anda and her family went out to get ice cream and her mom tells her father to only get one scoop and watch what he is eating. Her dad complains and responds that since he got the family better health coverage with his new job that if he gets too fat from all his ice cream than he’ll just have to have their health insurance cover the doctors having to suck all the ice cream back out of him. Anda thinks his comment is ignorant and becomes enraged by it and screams that not everyone has health insurance in the middle of the store and storms out. This really showed how just one person’s story- Raymond’s- being put out there can raise so much awareness and make people like Anda that have heard those story’s care and how more fortunate people should want to help and reach out to less fortunate people. Just like how Anda is trying to reach out to Raymond and help him get the proper health coverage he needs to fix his back problems. Overall, I think that In Real Life made amazing connections and raised awareness about important issues that aren’t focused on enough. This was a beautiful story and accompanied by wonderful art with a fresh style and gorgeous colors. I would 100% recommend this to anyone looking for a good book.
KristiHulsey More than 1 year ago I loved this book. The cover I think is absolutely gorgeous and reflects the story really well. I read this book in 1 sitting and its very hard for me to do that. Since I have kids. This was just such a good story. It is a young adult graphic novel. But I enjoyed it so so much. I was not expecting to enjoy this story as much as I did. For graphic novel lovers. I would highly recommend this story. This would also be a great graphic novel for first time readers. It was funny, the graphics were beautiful. It made me want to play along with CourseGoldOnline. This is definately a story to read.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
The story and cover caught my eye. Made me think of other stories with gaming in it. And Sword Art Online for some reason. Anyway, I liked the art. Interesting but good read.
Hawk9 More than 1 year ago
I sped through this book. It was so wonderfully done. Real issues and a totally accurate depiction of a gamer, in my opinion and experience. Captivating and fun.
HeavensTrap More than 1 year ago
Love this graphic novel!!! If you are a gamer you would definitely love this novel. Love the art and colors! Good story!