In Real Life

In Real Life

Book - 2014 | First edition
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"Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer -- a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake"--Cover flap.
Publisher: New York : First Second, 2014
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781596436589
Call Number: ygn DOCTOROW 2014
Characteristics: xii, 175 pages : colour illustrations ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: IRL


From Library Staff

Bright, sparkly, and awesome. "I'm a gamer and I kick arse."

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JCLSarahZ Sep 10, 2020

I loved this book. On the surface the story is about Anda, a shy teenager who is inspired to become her true self when she starts playing a MMRPG (massively-multiplayer role playing game.) As Anda becomes more confident, the choices that she makes in her real life, as well as the game, have serious consequences. The story delves into behavioral economics, social relationships and political activism as Anda develops online friendships and learns about a world outside of her own. I read a lot of criticism online, complaining that this novel didn't dig deep enough into these topics. I think though, that this book can be a great introduction into these issues. It's well written and engaging and may inspire gamers to pursue their own social justice. Also, I love Jen Wang's illustrations.

Apr 28, 2020

Jen Wang's beautiful artwork brings to life a story about child labor, cultural differences, and female online gamers. Doctrow chose an incredibly complex topic and tries to explain it through the world of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and in my opinion, only half succeeds. It's an interesting way to present this incredibly serious and complex subject matter of child labor, lack of health insurance, as well as class and ethnicity struggles in China. I like how Anda's gaming leads her to feel more empowered in real life. I admire her wanting to help Raymond and the other gold farmers obtain better working conditions. I just don't feel like this story was able to delve deep enough into a very complex situation without leaving a lot of unanswered questions. I feel like the subject matter was glossed over and it's been crammed into a fairly quick read that ends rather abruptly. I would have loved to have seen a much longer book with more of the topic and characters fleshed out.

JCLMirandaA Apr 06, 2020

Anda loves the escape and community in an online game, where she feels more herself. Anda’s love for her favourite online role-playing game is complicated when she befriends a player who is breaking the rules of the game for a livelihood. I love Jen Wang’s art (the reason I picked up the book honestly, because I loved Prince and the Dressmaker so much). It was an interesting story, I’m not really in the gaming world and didn’t have any preconceived notions or knowledge on the world, so it was quite interesting seeing an aspect of that world portrayed and learning about it. I enjoyed it, although it seemed a bit shallow of a story, that could have been longer and been more in-depth. I would definitely call it a graphic novella rather than a novel. Overall a fun read, I’m sure even better if you’re a gamer in that world, but could be universally liked.

Oct 07, 2019

Beautiful illustrations and a very sweet story about friendship.

Aug 12, 2019

The illustrations were beautiful, but the story wasn't my type. It seemed like the authors were trying to promote the readers that talking to random people on the internet is ok, as long as you help them.

JCLStefanieE Aug 09, 2019

A lovely graphic novel for anyone who loves gaming or coming-of-age stories.

Jun 12, 2019

Online gaming, school, friendship, empathy - all of the things that get tested in the chaos of these days and times. This is a story beyond my own childhood of play-alone platformers, mechanical keyboards and CRT screens. I’m happy to see artists address online gaming in an approachable, warm way like this.

I loved the art of this tale; I loved that friendship supercedes boss-fight rivalry as life gets weird, fast. This is an easy story to become immersed in, and a quick one to finish. While the ending felt too simplistic and tidy to my jaded adult self, I remember that kids don’t need complicated messes of endings to absorb something good. Not at the age they play online these days, anyway. I recommend for younger people, obviously, but if you want lovely scenery and a human main character to briefly relate to without getting too bent out of shape about how realistic everything is or must be, have a look.

Feb 15, 2019

A provoking look at the ethical stakes and tensions of roleplay, gaming, and economics.

ArapahoeSarahD Jul 02, 2018

I love how this book showcased a character unlike any I've ever seen in Graphic Novels! This is one Nerd-Tastic story!

JessicaGma May 30, 2018

I adore the art here in this story about a multiplayer online game and how the experience is different depending on if you're in the West or the East. Other pluses are the girls playing games, and the learning about unions. A very good read.

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Add Age Suitability
Sep 07, 2020

aliana_gc thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 12, 2019

gpb101 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 05, 2017

ryankuang thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jun 18, 2016

RACHAEL BROWN thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 10, 2015

Joanna_nie thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 8


Add Notices
Jun 18, 2016

Violence: Duh. It's an action-game book.

Jun 18, 2016

Coarse Language: There are a few swear words, but not too many to concern yourselves with.


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