Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book of Choice: For the Win

Goldfarming is big business – you play some online game, earn gold, points or bonuses and then you sell them to other players, but you do it not on your own, you have a boss who takes most of the profit. The game owners are not happy about that and send out players who fight goldfarmers, paying them a pittance compared to what they make off the games. But what happens if both realize that they are on the same side and that they can fight together for better wages, better working conditions? What happens if the players decide to take control of the game?

For the Win is a book for the WoW-players, for anyone who has ever played an online RPG and for anyone who loves playing, online or offline. It's a book for anyone who has never played an RPG in their life, but want to know what all the fuss is about. The first few pages alone , describing a battle in a dark Alice in Wonderland-world, will tell you.

It's also a book for anyone interested in the mechanics of economy and how it influences our lives. There are exciting fights (both on- and offline), vivid characters, exotic places and suddenly you find that you learned about inflation, Ponzi schemes, why gold is worth so much and (my favourite) Coase Cost. Look it up, it's fascinating and it's at the bottom of what is happening in all those Middle East countries that suddenly have uprisings on their hands because people talked on Facebook.

Cory Doctorow has the knack of writing books that are not only immensely entertaining, but that also teach you new things. If you want to find out for yourself, go to Craphound.com where you can download For the Win and his other novels for free and it's perfectly legal. Doctorow puts much of his writing online under a CC license before a print version is published. I wish more authors would do that.

This is the 16th book for the Library Challenge

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