Title: The Game (The Game is Life #1)
Author: Terry Schott
Genre: Science Fiction
What if life as we know it was just a game? What if, instead of traditional schools, children learned by participating in a virtual reality simulation, one that allowed them to experience “life” from birth to death – multiple times? What if one player, on his final play, could change the world forever…?
Read to: Page 58 (chapter 13)
Reason for stopping: Portraying religious people as stupid for worshiping “god,” which is actually just a computer mainframe (in the book, Earth is a virtual reality controlled by a mainframe).
I picked up this book on concept – living multiple lives through virtual reality instead of going to school. I thought it sounded pretty darn awesome, and I was super excited to read it.
The first two or three chapters were a little bogged down in backstory, half of which I don’t think was necessary. But the chapters are really short, and it soon moved on. And I was absorbed.
Zack was the main character. He’s a prodigy in the Game, one of the highest-ranked players out there, and he’s about to take some huge risks on his last time playing, and he’ll either lose it all or graduate at number one. And to make things even more complicated, his ex-girlfrend who failed out of the game a while ago – and now pretty much hates him – gets to go back in.
So why did I stop reading when this was shaping up to be such a good story? Because by page 53, the very clear message was “there is no God.”
The Game‘s concept was kind of a Matrix-like thing – Earth is a virtual reality that kids plug into to learn stuff. Religion on Earth was explained as players recognizing the influence of the mainframe, and in Tygon, the real world, “intelligent people had agreed that no such creature [God] existed.” That’s a direct quote from page 52.
I flipped ahead a bit, and a lot of the plot hinges on the mainframe “god” influencing Zack and his girlfriend’s time in the Game. While the story was shaping up to be great, plot-wise, I think The Game‘s handling of religion makes it not worth finishing.
The Game is Life series:
- The Game
- Digital Heretic
- Virtual Prophet
For more on my grading system, please see this page.