Video games, whether on computers, consoles, tablets, or handheld players are fun diversions for many people of all ages. For serious players the worlds within games offer an escape, communities of like-minded individuals, and mild (or not so mild) obsessions for the players. It is no wonder that authors have used video games as subject matter, setting, plot device, or even characters in their work. Here are some great novels, divided into children’s fiction and young adult fiction, that might particularly appeal to gamers and those that lose them to the games.
My Life as a Gamer by Janet Tashjian
Derek Fallon gets the chance of a lifetime when he is asked to test software for new video games, but he soon discovers that his dream job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Game Over, Pete Watson by Joe Schreiber
When video game obsessed Pete Watson discovers his dad is not only a super-spy but has been kidnapped and is now trapped inside a video game, he has to use his super gaming skills and enter the game to rescue him.
Game On! by D.J. Steinberg
When Old Fogey escapes from prison and creates a video game that physically sucks the players into the game, it is up to Daniel, aka Loud Boy, and his friends to call upon their superpowers to rescue the captured players.
More children’s books that video game fans and players might really enjoy include:The Time Hackers by Gary Paulsen, Deadly Pink by Vivian Vande Velde,Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind by Jeff Miller, Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett, Brainboy and the Deathmaster by Tor Seidler, Herbert’s Wormhole by Peter Nelson, and Game On! by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm.
Playing Tyler by TL Costa
Tyler MacCandless feels trapped caring for his older brother in rehab and working at McDonald’s, until he is introduced to a new video game that could earn him a place in flight school, but may also be very different than it appears.
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
Immersing herself in an online role-playing game where she enjoys fantasy heroics, Anda confronts a difficult choice when she befriends a disadvantaged Chinese kid who works illegally to collect valuable objects and sell them to other players for real money.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world’s creator.
More young adult books that video game fans and players might really enjoy include: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Neuromancer by William Gibson, The Peripheral by William Gibson, For the Win by Cory Doctorow, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, In Real Life by Lawrence Tabak, The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, Erebos: It’s a Game: It Watches You by Ursula Poznanski, Epic by Conor Kostick, Insignia by S. J. Kincaid, The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak by Brian Katcher, and Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff.