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For the Win [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Cory Doctorow , George Newbern
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 May 2010
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, millions of “gold farmers” toil in electronic sweatshops harvesting virtual treasure that their employers sell to First World gamers for real money.
           
Mala is a brilliant fifteen-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the nickname “General Robotwalla.” In China, Matthew defies his former bosses to build his own gold-farming crew. Leonard lives in Southern California and spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia. All of these young people, and more, become entangled with the mysterious woman called Big Sister Nor, who builds them into a movement to challenge the status quo.
           
Fighting pitched battles in the virtual worlds of every MMORPG worth playing, Nor’s network of gamers is so successful that it incurs ruthless opposition. Ultimately, Big Sister’s people 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.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library; Unabridged edition (11 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307710696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307710697
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 15.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,594,430 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.

Product Description

Review

‘Combines the real and virtual worlds in style. A cracking read’ Sun

‘Doctorow isn't afraid of taking on big ideas and difficult themes… An exhilarating, unputdownable novel’ Guardian

‘Topical, scarily believeable near-future novel’ Bookseller

Praise for Little Brother:

‘I’d recommend ‘Little Brother’ over pretty much any book I’ve read this year. Because I think it’ll change lives. It’s a wonderful, important book’ Neil Gaiman

‘Cory Doctorow’s novel could hardly be more relevant, scary and eye-opening … seriously entertaining.’ The Times

‘A cracking read’ Guardian

‘A well structured and superbly executed thriller with breakneck pacing and an emotional payoff to boot. Engaging, thought provoking, and at times harrowing.SciFi Now

‘An entertaining thriller and a thoughful polemic on Internet-era civil rights … a terrific read’ New York Times

‘A compulsive and chillingly credible read … would make a great discussion for any reading group’ New Books

‘A tale of struggle familiar to any teenager, about those moments when you choose what your life is going to mean.’ Steven Gould, author of ‘Jumper’

‘A timely and at times frightening read that is sure to resonate with a generation of computer-savvy teens, but also with those who have never heard of an arphid or re-built a hard drive’ Sun Herald (Australia)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How far from reality 7 May 2010
By Mr. B. Trotter VINE VOICE
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Draws you in 17 Jun 2010
By J. Baldwin VINE VOICE
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Get Thee to an Editor 20 April 2010
By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars too close to real life
Another Cory Doctorow classic. Cutting right to the bone about Gold farmers and cyberspace and the global digital world. No hand waving, really good stuff. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Robert Davis
3.0 out of 5 stars Revolution on Cyberspace
This is a fascianting novel concerned with the new internet largely gaming communities. It appears to be based on some sound research. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bruce Kapferer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
An exciting book that I couldn't put down.

The book charts a possible near future for mmorpgs, their creators and even the people who play and work within the virtual... Read more
Published 11 months ago by badspyro
2.0 out of 5 stars Workers of the on-line world unite!
In the near future MMORPGs are big business. Companies like Coca Cola run games with economies bigger than that of some countries, their wealth built around scarce objects used... Read more
Published 13 months ago by I Read, Therefore I Blog
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been better
After reading Ready Player One whilst in the USA last year I was ready for more of the same. I was very happy to get a signed copy of For The Win by Doctorow at Forbidden planet in... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Cory needs an editor
My problem with this book is my problem with Cory Doctorow novels generally. I laud his publication model and I love the ideas he has. Read more
Published on 17 July 2012 by Dr. Michael Heron
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, but...
If you're on this product page, chances are you've already read the synopsis posted above, so I won't go into the subject matter in too much detail. Read more
Published on 26 May 2012 by Mr. David Wackett
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern writing that illuminates issues
Doctorow is one of the vibrant new voices of english-language literature. He's writing about a reality that already around us yet describes it in a way that makes it seem like the... Read more
Published on 19 April 2012 by Simon Phipps
3.0 out of 5 stars The What If Scenario
`For the Win''s premise had much potential and largely that potential is adeptly explored by the author, but overall my impression of the novel was that it was too bogged-down in... Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Fantasy Lore
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, educational and genuinely moving
"For The Win" is a return to form for Cory Doctorow after the rather disappointing "Little Brother". Read more
Published on 28 Dec 2011 by Clever Spud
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