Game on! 9 enthralling books that explore the world of online gaming

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The growing popularity of online gaming is undeniable. This week, Vancouver hosts The International, a Dota 2 specific eSports tournament that attracts online gamers from around the world to compete for top cash prizes.

If you are inspired or intrigued by online games and the people who play them, get your game on and check out this list of dynamic reads where real and virtual worlds collide with fascinating results.

Non Fiction:

The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us -- and How They Don't by Nick LeeThe Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us — and How They Don’t by Nick Lee

Stanford researcher Nick Lee takes a fascinating look at the psychology of avatars and the ways we try, and often fail, to change our society in the virtual world.

Superbetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigalSuperbetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient–powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigal

Renowned game designer, Jane McGonigal, shows how harnessing the qualities we use while gaming, like optimism, creativity and determination, can be used to achieve remarkable personal growth in our everyday lives.

Gamelife: A Memoir by Michael CluneGamelife: A Memoir by Michael Clune

In this touching memoir of childhood at the dawn of the computer era, Michael Clune explores how he was transformed by technology, and how the life we spend away from people can save us when the real world disappoints.

Crash Override: How Gamergate (nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoe QuinnCrash Override: How Gamergate (nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoe Quinn

In 2014, online hate directed at Zoe Quinn by an ex-boyfriend became a wide-spread online campaign against women and minorities. Quinn details her fight against hatred while exposing troubling social dynamics in the world of gaming and the internet in general.

 

Fiction:

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

Weaving multiple perspectives of real and online gaming life, this moving love story brings together two mismatched Minnesota teens – metalhead Lesh and gamer girl Svetlana – to creatively and poignantly explore the themes of identity, gender bias, stereotypes, honesty and young love.

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen WangIn Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Anda spends her free time in the multi-player game, Coarsegold Online. There she begins an online friendship with Raymond, a Chinese teen for whom playing the game (and amassing virtual gold that he sells back to Westerners) is a full-time job.

Log Horizon by Mamare TounoLog Horizon by Mamare Touno

When a group of gamers wake to find that their imaginary gaming world, Elder Tales, has become reality, a small cadre of game veterans embark on a mission to change their world.

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineReady Player One by Ernest Cline

Set in 2045, this page-turning sci-fi adventure centres on a virtual utopia called OASIS. Teenager, Wade Watts, is a skilled gamer who discovers that there are real dangers in OASIS as he seeks a hidden key that will allow him to win the fortune of the game’s mysterious billionaire creator.

Warcross by Marie LuWarcross by Marie Lu

Teenaged hacker Emika Chen is an online bounty hunter who tracks down players who illegally bet on a game called Warcross. After she accidentally embroils herself in the game’s international championship tournament, she finds herself signing on as a spy for the game’s founder.

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