For the Win by Cory Doctorow

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Synopsis

In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation


At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

 

About Cory Doctorow

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CORY DOCTOROW is a coeditor of Boing Boing and a columnist for multiple publications including the Guardian, Locus, and Publishers Weekly. He was named one of the Web's twenty-five influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. His award-winning novel Little Brother was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
 
Published July 23, 2010 by Tor Teen. 515 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Computers & Technology, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Sports & Outdoors. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for For the Win

Kirkus Reviews

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In a future so close it will be easily mistaken for today, teens all over the world play massively multiplayer online role-playing games, but not all are in the game for fun.

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BC Books

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I wasn’t sure how much of the online gaming environment described was fictionalized, although I don’t really think that Coca Cola operates highly profitable game networks online in the real world.

Sep 27 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Examiner

Instead, it is Doctorow's pulling back of the curtain on a potential world where the virtual intersects with the physical in unexpected, and sometimes violent ways.

Jun 22 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Examiner

Doctorow manages to explain gamer culture through economics and sociology while at the same time explaining economics and sociology through gamer culture.

Oct 15 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

The Globe and Mail

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But the over-the-top politico-speak is delicious: "They came for the workers in the game and in the real world, a co-ordinated assault that left Big Sister Nor's organization in tatters."

May 28 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Tor

From Cory’s post on BoingBoing: We did this with Little Brother a couple years back, on the grounds that books for young people should be available for young reviewers to write about, rather than just adult reviewers who try to figure out whether young people will enjoy them.

Mar 11 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

SF Site

Cory Doctorow Website ISFDB Bibliography SF Site Review: For the Win SF Site Review: Makers SF Site Review: Makers SF Site Review: Little Brother SF Site Review: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town SF Site Review: Eastern Standard Tribe SF Site Review: A Place So Foreign SF Site R...

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SF Site

Cory Doctorow Website ISFDB Bibliography SF Site Review: Makers SF Site Review: Makers SF Site Review: Little Brother SF Site Review: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town SF Site Review: Eastern Standard Tribe SF Site Review: A Place So Foreign SF Site Review: Down And Out In The Ma...

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Common Sense Media

As I said, I liked the book Well, i'm 12, and this was a very good book.

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Common Sense Media

Parents could read this book to gain an understanding of the attractions that video gaming has for kids, the friendships built in the online communities, the interdependence and loyalties, and the inherent rewards built into the games that keep them playing.

May 11 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Seattle PI

While I’m not an active gamer myself, I’ve gamed enough, and have sufficient exposure to the gaming subculture, that I had no trouble understanding the terminology, game play or underlying infrastructure.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Wired

For the Win by Cory Doctorow is full of kids who play games for a living My boys, 14 and 17, belong to a book club whose tastes run heavily towards science fiction.

Jul 09 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Boomtron

And in order to win, as a blurb on the cover of Cory Doctorow’s latest fascinating and ambitious novel For the Win states, “Online or offline, you’ve got to organize to survive.” The novel follows the lives of teen gamers around the world and how they work in teams for often cruel and ruth...

Jun 01 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

SFX

As the SF of earlier eras was full of right-wingers, contemporary SF has a surfeit of lefties, their fiction characterised by the charming idea that somehow we hairless apes will overcome our inborn hierarchical tendencies.

May 14 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

SciFiNow

For The Win is not a light read, and the heavy subject matter and writing style does make the novel seem to drag at first, however pace does pick up in the final third of the book.

Aug 23 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Escape Pod

Most gamers have at least heard of gold farmers, of boys and young men in China playing games to make money and get big items that can be sold to people who don’t have eight hours a day, every day, to level their characters up.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Youth Services Book Review

While I loved this book for his depth and breadth, it’s hard to imagine that a high school student would be ready for a book that uses video game gangs to teach about the monetary system, the Wobblies, and union organizing.

Jul 29 2010 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Shoreline Area News

Their bosses make most of the money, selling virtual treasure--magic swords, talking mushrooms, and virtual gold -- to rich gamers who are too lazy to play the games and earn treasure for themselves.

Feb 24 2013 | Read Full Review of For the Win

Reader Rating for For the Win
79%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 61 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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