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4 of 5 Matrix Stars – The Game by Terry Schott

This book was so compelling. It kept my eyes glued to the page, that’s for sure. I couldn’t stop reading it. I finished it in one sitting, my attention was that captivated.

The story is about The Game, which is a virtual reality simulation. It was designed to help educate children, allowing them to live complete lives within The Game. When they reach schooling age, they are allowed to jack into The Game, leaving their bodies in an induced coma, being fed by a feeding tube.

The Game is very much like The Matrix. But instead of a plot to escape The Game, it’s a story of how the player’s lives are manipulated, to create the perfect life. To get the perfect score. To be #1.

But this is a difficult task, because the players are not aware that they are playing a game. Outside forces can only make subtle hints to help them. Thankfully, the Mainframe that controls the game is helping the players along. Because it has become self aware. Oh noes… Nothing good can come of this, right?

It’s really too bad that the Mainframe didn’t really turn out to be evil. I was really hoping for a HAL 9000 moment, where the Mainframe finally took complete control and just did whatever the bloody fuck she wanted. Fire and brimstone kind of stuff. The end of the world. Dogs and cats living together. That sort of thing.

But no. The Mainframe didn’t turn evil. In fact, the real problem with this book is that nobody ever turned evil. There weren’t any real villains at all. I mean, there were some slightly shady characters, but nobody really out to destroy anything.

As I was reading this book, I was bored by the actual game itself. The behind the scenes trickery was much more interesting. Unfortunately, most of the book is actually set inside the game. Which kind of sucked, because inside the game, it’s just life as usual. You go to school, you go to work, you eat dinner…

Who the fuck cares? I mean you’ve got this awesome idea, this Game, where you can do anything. Be anything. But you can’t. Because the author decided that the players won’t know they’re playing a game. It would have been so much better if they were aware of it. Then, they really could do anything. But no…

As it is, the story turned out to be The Truman Show. Where everyone in the world tuned in to watch the players lives. Why they would tune in to watch such a mundane life, I’m not quite sure.

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