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. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.
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.
I read In Real Life (written by Cory Doctorow and drawn by Jen Wang) a few months ago and absolutely loved it. It’s a lovely comic that looks a gender in games and the role of games in relation to economics. In fact, Doctorow writes a fantastic forward that discusses exactly that: Games and Economics. The art is fabulous as well so some enthusiastic clapping for Jen Wang. I definitely suggest picking it up. It’s a fun read with some important things to say. The book comes out today! Run, don’t walk, to enjoy it.
A. A. Omer