Be a Gamer

Chess, Tetris, Monopoly, video games and virtual reality—explore the entire world of how we play games, why we create them, and what they teach us about being human.

  • Ready Player One

    2011 by Ernest Cline

    In the not-so-distant future—the world has turned into a very bleak place. Luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade Watts dreams of finding three keys left behind in OASIS by it's now deceased creator, James Halliday, the richest man to have ever lived. Whoever finds the keys will inherit Halliday's fortune.

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  • The Impossible Fortress : A Novel

    2017 by Jason Rekulak

    The Impossible Fortress is a love letter to the 1980s, the dawn of the computer age, and a tender exploration of young love and true friends—with a dash of old school computer programming.

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  • Neuromancer

    1984 by William Gibson

    The Matrix is a world within a world, a global consensus-hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace. Henry Dorsett Case was the sharpest data thief in the business until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run.

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  • Omnitopia Dawn

    2010 by Diane Duane

    In an increasingly wired and computer-friendly world, massive multiplayer online games have become the ultimate form of entertainment. The most popular gaming universe of all is Omnitopia, created by genius programmer Dev Logan. For millions of people around the world, Omnitopia is an obsession, but there's a secret to Omnitopia, one that Dev would give his life to protect. The game isn't just a program or a piece of code, it's become sentient—alive, and it's Dev's job to keep it that way.

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  • In Real Life

    2014 by Cory Doctorow

    Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massive multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. Things become complicated when she befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are less straightforward when a real person's livelihood is at stake

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  • Level Up

    2011 by Gene Luen Yang

    Nothing is what it seems when life collides with video games. Dennis Ouyang has always struggled in the shadow of his parents’ expectations: stay focused in high school, do well in college, go to medical school and become a gastroenterologist. But between his father’s death, his academic burnout, and his deep (and distracting) love of video games, Dennis can’t endure. He’s kicked out of college. That’s when things get weird.

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  • The Tetris Effect : The Game that Hypnotized the World

    2016 by Dan Ackerman

    Tetris is perhaps the most instantly recognizable, popular video game ever made. But how did an obscure Soviet programmer, working on frail, antiquated computers, create a product which has now earned nearly one billion in sales? How did a makeshift game turn into a worldwide sensation displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, played in outer space, and used as the inspiration for a big-budget sci-fi movie?

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  • Ivory Vikings : The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them

    2015 by Nancy Marie Brown

    In the early 1800's, on a Hebridean beach in Scotland, the sea exposed an ancient treasure cache: 93 chessmen carved from walrus ivory. The Lewis Chessmen are probably the most famous chess pieces in the world. Harry played Wizard's Chess with them in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Housed at the British Museum, they are among its most visited and beloved objects. Who carved them? Where? Nancy Marie Brown's Ivory Vikings explores these mysteries by connecting medieval Icelandic sagas with modern archaeology, art history, forensics, and the history of board games.

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  • The Monopolists : Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game

    2015 by Mary Pilon

    The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man's lifelong obsession to tell the true story about the game's questionable origins. A gripping social history of corporate greed that illuminates the cutthroat nature of American business over the last century, The Monopolists reads like the best detective fiction told through Monopoly's real-life winners and losers.

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  • Cracking the Cube : Going Slow to Go Fast and Other Unexpected Turns in the World of Competitive Rubik's Cube Solving

    2016 by Ian Scheffler

    A journalist and aspiring “speedcuber” attempts to break into the international phenomenon of speedsolving the Rubik’s Cube while exploring the Cube’s rise to iconic status around the globe and the lessons that can be learned through solving it.

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  • Queen of Katwe

    2017 by Mira Nair

    A Ugandan girl's life changes forever when she discovers she has an amazing talent for chess. A really heartwarming, lovely movie!

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  • Slumdog Millionaire

    2009 by Danny Boyle

    This Best Picture winner is the story of a penniless orphan from the slums of Mumbai who wins big on India's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Beautifully directed and acted.

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  • Jumanji

    2000 by Joe Johnston

    And of course no list on gaming would be complete without this classic movie about a board game gone wrong, bringing both its adventures and dangers into the real world.

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