Book List: Video Games

Technology changes our world and the way we live, so of course authors have long been taking great delight in speculating how else it might change us. This list focuses on one particular popular pastime – video games:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Three hidden keys open three secret gates…

In the dystopian world of 2044 the online world of OASIS is the ultimate escapism. Its creator has died leaving no heir – whoever finds and solves the riddles hidden within OASIS will inherit control of it (and a massive fortune to boot).

MMORPG meets 80s arcade games in this nerdalicious read.

Random House

Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

Are you playing the game – or is the game playing you?

Erebos is a highly addictive but eerily sinister computer game (MMORPG). You cannot buy it, you cannot talk about it, and you don’t get second chances. When Nick finally gets his hands on a copy, he’s so immersed that – like so many players before him – he doesn’t think twice when the game starts giving him tasks to do in the real world.

Caution: the book is as addictive as the game it’s named for.

Allen & Unwin

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

In China and India the skills of teenage game-players are exploited by adults and companies for real-world profits and gains. These people are so ruthless that the teens will need real-world cooperation as well as the biggest online hack ever, in order to escape and survive.

Doctorow uses MMORPG to explore complicated real-world economics and social issues such as (un)fair working conditions and unionism.


or free download from the author’s website

.hack manga series by Tatsuya Hamazaki

There are several series (and anime, and games) in the “dot-hack” franchise, all centering around a fictional online role-playing game (MMORPG) called The World.

.hack//Legend of the Twilight follows the adventures of two middle-school students (Shuga andRena) as they enter The World for the first time.



Gamers series by George Ivanoff

Tark and Zyra are teenage thieves in a world of magic and science…

A series of computer game-themed books that are great for middle grade readers.

Ford Street Publishing


Shalott trilogy by Felicity Pulman

Technology with a historical flavour as modern-day Callie accesses the legendary world of Camelot and the Arthurian court via her father’s virtual reality game.

Random House



Kids have been getting sucked into video games in fiction since the 70s. These particular 20th century titles are still readily available, and well worth your time:


Space Demons trilogy by Gillian Rubenstein

Three different video games that eat teenagers, across three different books. Blurring reality in the creepiest of ways as only Rubenstein knows how.




Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett’s famous humour in a book specifically written for a younger audience. Johnny is happily playing the video game Only You Can Save Mankind when the aliens offer to surrender. Only Johnny (and Kirsty) can save the ScreeWee.

Random House

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