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MetaGame Paperback – 11 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (11 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935597167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935597162
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 743,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Author Sam Landstrom studied molecular biology at the University of Washington before working at a DNA sequencing lab that helped sequence the human genome. Presently, he works in the software industry. MetaGame is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Russell G. Pottinger VINE VOICE on 20 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Based in a slightly dystopian future version of earth, which could be 50-100 years away afaics, where the only thing people care about is becoming wealthy enough to become immortal. Our lead character is working his way up the gaming ladder, and gets noticed by the ruling elite who enlist him into a MetaGame (A game based in real life, so from their point of view a sort of game within a game, hence meta)

Anyway, the MetaGame is a series of quests that bring D_Light into a world he knew nothing about and forces him to re-evaluate his views somewhat.

Oh, if you want meta then ripping off Bill Bailey "Three blind mice walk into a bar, but they are unaware of their surroundings, so to derive humour from it would be exploitative."

A couple of really interesting ideas are used in this book

The first is the overlay. The world we live in is often quite often fairly dull, so wouldn't it be great if we could overlay our world with more interesting things. We've already started to do this (look up augmented reality) but this book takes it a lot farther, in fact to the point where people very often look down on the "real" world. Why be a desk junky? When you can be a mighty wizard helping your friends defend against the evil something or other - ala a suped up version of World of Warcraft.

The second is the change in the way we work. Anybody that has ever played a MMORPG will know about grinding, doing a very boring thing over and over to gain points/money, but loads of people willingly do this to power up their characters. Now the brilliant idea would be to find a way to make people treat their jobs in a similar way, become a 10th level postman, 20th level accountant, etc.

Finally I liked the idea of the death of the present family layout.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By H. Ashford VINE VOICE on 8 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
D_Light is a player of games, and a good one. He spends most of his time "jacked in" to one game or another, amassing points and building up his status. This is important, as a player's points dictate where he/she lives, what they wear, what food they eat, etc, etc (ie they are the currency of the society he lives in). Everybody is playing Games at one level or another.

D_Light is moderately successful; he is climbing up the rankings. But there is a price to pay - in order to manage his moods and keep his performance at a peak he finds himself taking more and more drugs, he suffers from feelings of guilt, and he is lonely. Being invited to take part in a MetaGame seems like the opportunity of a lifetime; a MetaGame is a real game (ie not virtual) and therefore comes with a risk of actual injury or even death to the individuals taking part; not surprisingly it is played for high stakes.

However, as the Metagame progresses, D_Light finds that his risk-taking approach has backfired and taken him outside of the rules of the Game. As he struggles to come to terms with this, the game itself starts to shift. Without wanting to give away spoilers, all I can say is that he is forced to choose between winning the Game (by the rules) or risking everything to change the Game itself.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It's not great literature, but there is a good story line which it is well developed, and (for me at least) the pace was about right - a bit slow at the start, but great once it got going. The characters are a bit stereotypical, but they were real enough to hold my attention and make me want to know what would happen to them. The best aspect (I thought) is the culture / society in which the events play out, which is imaginative and well described.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan Glazier on 21 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the previous cardiffreview, even though I'm not into gaming at all, I thought this book was fab and couldn't stop reading it. It's a light or delightful! read but the ideas are innovative and complex - that is, the dystopian world in the near future is very well developed and fascinating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. L. Cawood-campbell VINE VOICE on 1 Sep 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Gripped from the first few lines. Science Fiction can be very repeatative and unimaginative, but this is not! Exciting, intreguing from the outset. The author establshes a very believable world very quickly, and entices you in to it just as quickly. A highly visual book which would translate into a very convincing Movie in the hands of a talented script writer and director. Hioghly recommend this compulsive novel. Looking forward to further books by this brilliant debut writer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. P. Gearing VINE VOICE on 17 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There is much to admire about this book. It is crisply written, doesn't carry much verbiage and has an interesting plot. Yet, it still serves a thin gruel which maybe, in part, the nature of the plot the author has constructed which requires a little too much explanation in the coda; explanation which could have more usefully been folded into the story. It is to be applauded for the way it folds in cultural trends and extends them into a story that moves, generally, along at a pace, though once or twice it does tread water whilst the author hammers a point home. There is violence, there is a long chase, the whole book is a chase, there is a class structure, there are Angels and Demons, there is a commentary on how science can be morphed into belief and life is the reward and death the consequence of the Game (life). The Meta-game transforms it's players to would-be immortals or meat. Everyone enters as would-be immortals, but they are not equal. Death is the leveller.

I am glad I read this book, I did enjoy it, it has something to say and it has ambition. What it needs is more characterisation.
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