The Game : The Game Is Life

  • by Terry Schott
  • Narrated by Luke Daniels
  • Series: The Game Is Life
  • 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What if life as we know it was just a game?
What if instead of traditional schools, children learned by participating in a virtual reality simulation, one that allowed them to experience "life" from birth to death - multiple times?
What if one player, on his final play, could change the world forever?

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Customer Reviews

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A good concept mired by lazy writing.

Any additional comments?


The concept of The Game is a somewhat classic and attractive concept to sci-fi fans; that of a completely immersive VR world akin to that found in The Matrix. It plays with interesting ideas like 'what if life is just a computer simulation', and 'how might society change in response to the development of highly advanced VR'.

In general, the writing style and character development are fairly solid, and the performance is great. But the world-building itself, the most interesting prospect of the book, is executed terribly, and between the lines can be found an anti-atheistic message.

I get the distinct impression that this book was written for teens. Not in that the content itself is targeted towards teens, but rather, that there is an assumption of undeveloped intelligence and a lack of worldly knowledge that the author has used to justify lazy world building.

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To give a few examples (very mild spoilers):

1) We are told that viewing players in the game has replaced all other forms of entertainment (TV, movies, books, video games, etc). The only explanation given is that watching important, extraordinary, or popular people live out their day-to-day lives is obviously better entertainment, which it obviously is not.

2) We are told that time passes at a rate of 1 virtual year per 1 real day. We are also told that it is impossible to record the game. No explanation is given as to why recording is impossible (or how viewings are done), and no explanation as to how viewing is possible, especially given the differing rates of time, and no ability to record (and thus no playing back recorded video at a slower speed).

3) Lastly, we are told, in several pieces, that society has changed to completely revolve around the game. This includes the economy, education, entertainment, and the extreme classism that has since developed. Nearly no details are offered to explain how this came to be, or how society currently functions. There is, in essence, nearly zero actual word-building.

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The book also seems to promote an approach to life that abandons healthy scepticism and rational inquiry. While the protagonists seek out and absorb all that alternative medicine and religious studies have to offer, there's a telling absence of interest in science and evidence-based medicine. There also seems to be the clear message that faith and prayer are positive and effective forces, and that the absence of religion would ruin society.

I've read and enjoyed many fictional books with religion, magic, spirituality, or angels and demons as a central theme, the problem here is the execution; its inclusion seems to be for the purpose of delivering a message, rather than serving the story. I might not have bothered with this point if I weren't convinced that the book is targeted at a younger audience.

In closing, this book was a huge disappointment for me, and I certainly won't be purchasing its sequels. Decerning readers of fantasy and sci-fi should consider looking elsewhere.

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- Khada

pulls at the questions at the back of my mind

Not by the synopsis alone. I preordered The Game. From an unknown to me author. With the backing of one of my go-to narrators and a publisher, that does a really good job of picking up extraordinary titles. The summary pulls at the questions at the back of my mind. Why are we here? How did we get here? What is the point of life? Well, what if the point of life was to do your best at it. All the while scoring points in the game called life. Wouldn’t that be something? That is exactly where Zach, the protagonist, finds himself. Albeit with a twist.

Tygon is a world very similar to Earth. Pretty much everything is very similar, technology, corporations, and the media rule. However, the one major difference is this. At a very young age, every child is plugged into “The Game”. Think of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, similar to World of Warcraft. The world where the game takes place is a different planet called Earth. Everyone there is playing the game. Then everyone’s game life is available for the public to watch. If you get more fans and followers, when you come out of The Game you are rewarded with fame and fortune. But only if you have a fan base and can place in the ranking of all of the other players.

The Game follows one such player, Zach, through his “waking up” from a game and starting another instance. We get to follow his game life, from birth to his 40th birthday. Because in the game 1 day on Tygon is 1 year on Earth. This happens pretty quickly. I do not want to give too much away here, so let me say this. What if while in The Game you found a book that you wrote in your last game, and have no memory of writing, explaining that life is just a game. Along with that, what if you started to tell people this and they believed you?

Schott’s idea here is so perfectly epic. Yet so simple as well. Written in a way that makes sense to me. I was engrossed from beginning to end. Not wanting to stop listening for anything. I had to know what happened next.

WARING: There is a cliffhanger ending. Followed with a brief sample of the next book in the series that cannot be published soon enough.

Luke Daniels delivered this performance just as soundly as most of the rest that I have heard. Using his “trademarked” character voices. That all seem to always fit the story perfectly. For younger to older males. Female voices that are more believable than most speak. Full of strategic pauses and other unspoken traits of a truly skilled narrator. Going to file this under “Classic Daniels”.

Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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- AudioBook Reviewer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-22-2016
  • Publisher: Podium Publishing