ISBN #: 978-1461174714
Page Count: 324
Copyright: June 13, 2011
(Taken from Amazon)
Two points for brushing your teeth. Ten points for keeping your room tidy. Seventy-two points for the Bioeconomic Game Design pop quiz on the ride to school in your personal FunCar. Another thirty for making every hurdle in gym class. Life is a game, unless you're not the one winning. When Gabby DeCorte, top student and reality-hacker extraordinaire, learns the truth about LifeGame, she must choose between winning and what she believes in.
Gamers is a novel set in the distant future, but with enough relatability that the reader gets to know this new Earth and the people that inhabit it. Life on this future Earth is a game, LifeGame that is. People earn points for doing chores, going to the Library Museum, learning new subjects ... just about everything you do in normal life. The points are combined with a person's TPS (thoughts per second) to generate a LifeScore. The higher a person's LifeScore, the higher in ranks that person elevates and the better their chances for entering into University (what I'm assuming is this new Earth's version of college).
Learning is presented in the forms of games. Playing games is no longer for fun and the thought that games were once utilized for fun is an outlandish thought for the students in this new Earth. Games are even played while going from one location to another inside of a FunCar.
FunCars are automated once the course is set. They are programmed to be silent while driving so as not to disrupt any persons playing games. Oh, and FunCars only fit two people. I'm curious as to why this is, but it was not discussed.
Before leaving high school, all students must participate in a Final Raid. This is the ultimate gaming experience utilizing the knowledge they've acquired over the years. Students must work in randomly-selected teams of five. There are only two results to the Final Raid: You win the game and earn enough LifeScore points to go to University or you die (in the game only) and are subjected to an unknown fate with no hope of going to University.
Gabby is one of the best hackers of the LifeGame system and she uses that to her advantage. If she doesn't clean her room or make her bed, she knows she can "adjust" the system to get her score back up to where it needs to be. Her TPS levels are insanely high and attract the attention of some people in high places ... it also attracts the attention of a group known as the Frags.
The Frags are a renegade group of intelligent and/or talented people who are trying to defeat the people behind the LifeGame system. A member of the Frags, Michael, comes in contact with Gabby to solicit her help. They know what happens to the people who don't make it into the University, but they want to confirm their knowledge with additional information ... Information Gabby can acquire. Will she decide to help them and risk her LifeScore? Or will she participate in Final Raid, forget about the Frags and go to University as her parents wish?
It's hard for me to tell you if this book is more fantasy or sci-fi. I think it can be categorized as either. Gamers is a great start to a new series and one I would recommend to all those that enjoy a young adult fantasy/sci-fi novel.