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MetaGame by [Landstrom, Sam]
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MetaGame Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1972 KB
  • Print Length: 424 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (9 Nov. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003LSTK7C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #192,955 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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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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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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the future, life literally is a game - both work and play have been recast as missions in virtual reality overlaid worlds that earn points, with prestige and immortality on offer as a reward to the very best players. Having recently completed a quest that earned him a top score, player D_Light is selected to take part in a Meta-Game. The Meta-Games take place in the real world, and while the risk is very real, so is the reward. It will take a lot of skill, strategy and good fortune if D_Light and his team mates are to beat the Meta-Game alive.

Given the prevalence of social networking, online games and sites such as Foursquare where you can score points just for visiting different places, it isn't too much of a stretch to imagine a future like that of Metagame, where every aspect of life has been worked into a game. It's certainly an interesting concept, but unfortunately, when it comes to this novel, it's one that has been sadly squandered.

Right from the start, the story is slow to get into gear, with the first few chapters spent on a painfully slow recap of how D_Light earned a high score on his last quest. Although it does pick up a little from there, the writing style is just too sloppy to enable the novel to pick up any kind of tension or pacing. It doesn't help that all the principal characters are completely shallow and dislikeable, with such stilted and wooden dialogue that it is impossible to feel anything except annoyance towards them.

Overall, although there are certainly some interesting ideas in this book, that just isn't enough to make up for the poor writing and shallow characterisation. Even if you're a fan of the genre, there are plenty of better titles to spend your time and money on.
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