Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review: Metagame

MetaGame is a scifi thriller that takes place in and around MMO-type games. In this vein, it's similar to Snowcrash, Rainbows End, Ready Player One, and many others.

I found it to be a very engaging story, with some provocative bits technology futurism. I give the book a 3/5 or so rating because it was in dire need of editing. There were parts that were too long and should have been left on the chopping block, and there were parts that could have used cleanup, and some poor choice of language that broke suspension of disbelief at times. Less would have definitely been more.

That said, it's FAR better than Ready Player One that so many found so great last year, so I still recommend it.

Among the interesting bits of futurism: Crowd-sourcing as source for the meta-game and for the hive-mind; Post-scarcity life, and various bits of bio-tech and post-human hackery. The author even does a pretty good job of tackling ethics of genetically engineered human-derivative 'products', despite this being well trod ground.

There's a scene where the lead character, D-lite, has a maddeningly frustrating tech support dispute over the terms of his mind-interface chip's EULA in an attempt to access the source code to his own in-game character, that in itself is worth reading the book. It's thought-provoking gold, and just conceivable enough to be scary.

Well worth reading despite it's flaws.