If you are interested in Geek Anthropology through comics, In Real Life comes in handy. It tells the story of a gamer teenager girl who, in growing up with games, discovers another reality for young people like her who aren’t as lucky as she is. While she might be playing online games for fun, or even do things because other gamers pay her to do so, some others work for a living playing games. In Real Life is a treasure graphic novel that will enchant you. It puts on the table several questions about the world of online games and teenage girls. It’s a treasure with many layers. A masterpiece! I found it by chance fooling around the local comic book store. [Yes, I sometimes go just to take a look at what’s new, and I might spend a long time just fooling around. Sometimes I find treasures like this one.] I started reading a bit while in the store, and after a few pages I needed to own it. This is a comic book to explore teenage girls who enter into the gaming world, how they act, what they feel, what are their challenges, who are their role models, and what might be happening in real life.
This comic book is an entertaining comic book that makes you think beyond the artwork and what seems a simple story. How do we get the things that we own? How do we organize ourselves while gaming online? What does work mean in the world of video games? Who are the role models for female gamers? Is gaming dangerous for teenage minds? What online social structures do gamers create? Can we grow up while gaming? Become adults? Learn something from it? Can teenagers distinguish reality from digital reality? If so, how?
As you can see, the number of questions and layers that you can find within this comic are many! This is a jewel to be read more than once to be able to appreciate all its glory! In it, our hero is a young teenage girl who starts playing games online after a cool gamer makes a speech in their class. Her avatar is badass. So, she decides to give it ago. There, she meets a friend and starts getting paid to do certain works. And what looked like to be the enemy turns out to be a friend who explains to her his reality.
I won’t spoil this comic book for you. I just recommend that you read it several times and enjoy the ride. This is an uplifting book with many faces that show us that the gaming world has more much hidden within than just the stereotypes that we’re usually exposed to by media. Since it’s a story explained in a comic book, it also shows up the power of comics as vessels of serious information, while being one of the best mediums to explore pop culture.
Don’t miss In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang. It’s a treasure!
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Copyright: Images on this post (C) In Real Life, Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang