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For the Win Paperback – 6 Jan 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (6 Jan 2011)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0007291183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007291182
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Little Brother. He has won the Locus Award for his fiction three times, been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula, and is the only author to have won both the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Campbell Award for best SF Novel of the Year. He is the co-editor of BoingBoing.net, writes columns for Make, Information Week, the Guardian online and Locus and has been named one of the internet's top 25 influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Cory Doctorow lives in London with his wife and daughter.


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. Trotter VINE VOICE on 7 May 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Those who play MMOGs will have many a little chuckle when they read this book, buying virtual money with real money is part and parcel of the online game scene, love it or hate it, it's there.
For the Win takes place in the near future, when multiplayer online games--descendants of Everquest and World of Warcraft have continued to rise in popularity.
Gold farmers work long hours under harsh conditions to harvest digital items and currency from the games so they can be sold for real cash. When they realize they are being mistreated, they begin to come together and fight for their rights, in both the real world and in their virtual world.
The story of unions, economics, and video games that Doctorow has created is exciting and eye-opening. It will probably appeal most to nerdier, technology-oriented types with an interest in the money game that makes the world go 'round, but almost anyone could find something to enjoy here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Baldwin VINE VOICE on 17 Jun 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had my doubts about this book, given that I often find myself disagreeing with most of Doctorow's journalism and hard-core tech attitudes - though never doubting his expertise. (To irritate the author, I'm reading the book on my iPad!)

However this book immediately draws you in with it's brief episodic beginning. It's written like a screenplay with short scenes that paint a vivid picture of the characters and their situations. If you're familiar with online gaming you'll get the situation immediately, and if you're not, you will soon begin to wonder what MMORPGs have to offer.
The characters are all young, set up in some way against authority and the world of adults - adrift in a world where the only escape is to adopt a different character either in real life or the virtual one.
The characters are appealing, even if their situations are not, whether it's the poor quarters of China or India, or the more affluent suburbs of America.
Only one thing really jars with this book - the mention of Coca Cola as one of the games' producers. It just doesn't fit in an otherwise fictional world, this one beacon of specific reality (especially as they aren't, to my knowledge, in the software business). Why Coca Cola? It just sticks out like a sore thumb. That's why I only give it four stars - occasionally the book reads like it needed a stronger editor. But only occasionally.

Well written, with a powerful female character that makes this appealing to all genders and all ages, the battle sequences will have you gripped. Recommended for older kids or adults who like a good story.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 April 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the third Cory Doctorow novel I have read. The first, Little Brother is a tightly plotted techno-thriller, that examines the abuse of technology in the war on terror. The second, Makers is a much more bloated affair, detailing the use of future technologies to bring about an economic new world order. 'For The Win' sits somewhere between the two.

Again, we are in the near future. 'For The Win' features a host of disparate characters all tied to the multi-million dollar gaming industry. In essence, this is a tale about the powerful and rich exploiting the weak and poor. Many of the characters 'farm' computer world gold, which can then be sold for real money, through the black market. These farmers work on repetitive in-game tasks, in sweatshops run by unscrupulous bosses. They are paid a pittance whilst the bosses cream off all the money. The novel charts the exploits of a group of works campaigning for better rights for the oppressed farmers.

My game playing days are sadly now behind me, but I found the central premise intriguing. That there is serious money to be made by hoarding a virtual asset in something as facile as a computer game is barely credulous, but Doctorow knows this stuff inside out. There is no doubting the integrity of his information, or his vision of the future. Unfortunately the resulting novel just isn't that exciting.

There are some great sections in the novel, Doctorow's vision is breathtaking, but once again (like 'Makers') his story becomes bogged down in the details.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The near future. In India and China many thousands of gamers are slaving in PC sweatshops, working as gold farmers, accumulating virtual money in various online games and then selling it for real money to rich Western players who can't be bothered to put the grindwork in. However, there are growing calls for the gold farmers to unite and unionise for better conditions. And when that happens, the authorities strike back hard.

For the Win is based around the process of 'gold farming', a problem in modern computer games like World of WarCraft where poor players in the Far East do the hard work to make money for players in the West. The novel predicts that in the near future, these games' economies will become so vast that the gold farmers will become an institutionalised form of work, another Asian sweatshop churning out product for the benefit of the West. However, due to the fact this work is undertaken on the Internet, it also means that the gold farmers can communicate with not just one another, but other farmers right across the world, and that lays the groundwork for strikes and possibly even revolution.

Cory Doctorow's novel charts the rise of online gaming from a niche entertainment industry into a massive economy which can be gamed and exploited like any other. Many of the issues Doctorow has identified have already been the subject of studies by economic bodies, and he unifies a technical interest in the field with more human stories about worker exploitation and also a larger idea about how much longer can the single Chinese state control everything in the face of such vast influences from outside the country, particularly with regards to workers' rights and unions.
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