Let the Games Begin
Although the Olympic Games begin this week, this post is not about those types of games--it's about computer games. Computer games are among my favourite things and these are some of my favourite novels featuring computer games and virtual reality.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Six-year-old Ender Wiggins is recruited into the Battle School where he is trained for war with computer games.
Halting State by Charles Stross
An Edinburgh police officer is called in to investigate a bank robbery that has taken place in a virtual world. Unwilling to take the case seriously, she soon realizes that what happens online may have an impact on the offline world as well.
jPod by Douglas Coupland
The frustration and absurdity of the modern workplace is spotlighted in this novel about a Vancouver game designer trying to juggle work, life and romance.
Pocket Kings by Ted Heller
A man who has failed at most things in life finds success playing online poker in a virtual world. As he becomes more immersed in the online world, he becomes more detached from everything on the outside.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Poverty and environmental crisis have essentially trapped people in their homes and a virtual world is the only escape for most citizens.
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
The creator of a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) must battle to save his company and his niece after a virus in the online world has real life consequences.
Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann
Iraq war veteran Ellie Cooper is trying to forget the past in China, surrounded by artists and gamers. When her boyfriend disappears, she is pursued by various agencies both in real life and in an online game.
This is Not a Game by Walter Jon Williams
A game designer begins to blend real life murders and political intrigue into her game world and uses gamers to sort out the truth and the lies.