This graphic novel arrived in the mail yesterday: In Real Life, written by Cory Doctorow and illustrated by Jen Wang. On the car ride to school today, V couldn't stop talking about it.
So, today, I read it… and it knocked me over. The book is worth its weight in gold for the introduction alone. Here's a taste...
In Real Life is a book about games and economics.
When you put economics and games together, you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a bunch of sticky, tough questions about politics and labor. In Real Life connects the dots between the way we shop, the way we organize, and the way we play, and why some people are rich, some are poor, and how they seem to get stuck there.
I hope that readers of this book will be inspired to dig deeper into the subject of behavioral economics and to start asking hard questions about how we end up with the stuff we own, what it costs our human brothers and sisters to make those goods, and why we think we need them.
This short graphic novel takes on gold-farming in online games, from an economic and social perspective. It also explores the concept of having a separate online identity, specifically for teenagers who may still be forming a “real life” identity; and feminism and the myriad ways it ties into those first two items.
This is a great book for teens and tweens who want to start thinking big about injustice, our rights, organizing, and changing the world for the better.
All that is sweet was paid for, once upon a time, by principled people who risked everything to change the world for the better.