Cory Doctorow’s For The Win does a great job of illustrating the fact that the line between the real world and the digital world has indeed been blurred.
I downloaded this for free on the day it came out, as Cory is one of my favorite authors. He didn’t disappoint, as I finished reading it in just about a day or two after.
Set in the very near future, For The Win follows the path of several characters located in several countries across the world as they play, interact, and make a living on several different online worlds and communities. Doctorow shows the living and work conditions of online gold farmers in the Third World. He really explores what could happen when workers online are no longer happy with the sweat shop conditions they work in, and when they become empowered when they realize their own connectivity with one another.
He goes into complex concepts of economics, globalization, and labor laws within these online communities without making them sound all that hard to grasp. As I read this, it was hard to keep in mind: this book is geared at young adults. Don’t get me wrong, it is incredibly fitting for young minds. It’s great for minds of any age. He knows how to keep you engrossed with the adventure he describes. I wish I had this kind of literature when I was a “young adult.”
The concepts of this For The Win are thought-provoking and entirely plausible in today’s society. There are parts of the novel that I wish would happen in real life. It was an extremely fun read. Whenever I had to put the book down, I found myself thinking ahead to the time when I’d be able to open it back up again.
The digital copy can be had for free here, but I implore everyone to purchase a hard copy of this book or an audio book or throw him a donation on his site. Doctorow is one of those authors who you want to have writing novel after novel until the end of time. Futurama-bottle his head after his meat-body dies and hook him up with some fancy speech-to-text software.
I digress. I guess it goes without saying that this fan boy thinks that you should check out his other works, too. Enjoy!