Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Review: A.D.D: Adolescent Demo Division

I find Douglas Rushkoff a provocative thinker about media theory, so when I heard he'd co-authored a graphic novel related to the subject, I put it on the to-read list and recently picked it up at my public library.

A.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division centers around a group of teenage professional gamers in a near-future where reality TV, pro gaming leagues and mega-corp marketing collide. The result is part X-men, part Enders Game, and part MTV's Real World.

While that might sounds like an interesting setup, the book has many flaws and so I can't strongly recommend it.

On the positive side, the artwork is clean and well done. I find many modern graphic novels leave me lost, artisitic ambition sacrificing a clear indicator of where the reader's eyes should go next. ADD doesn't suffer from this. Additionally, there are some interesting bits of near-term sci-fi in the setting.

What it does suffer from is a poor connection to the story, especially at the end when it's never fully revealed what the evil corporation is actually up to. Additionally, the excessive use of slang and offensive language (think lots of boner jokes, towel-snapping shower, and cyber-porn-tugging scenes) may have been used to make it clear that these are teenage boys lacking parenting (a pinch of Lord of the Flies in there), it comes off as flat and forced, hurting more than helping the story.

If I had to rate it, I'd give it 2/5. YMMV. A.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division

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