I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Player vs Player by Amelia Gormley
Published by Riptide Publishing on December 8, 2014
Genres: M/M Romance, Mystery
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Pushing for change can be dangerous when change starts pushing back.
Video game writer Niles River loves the work he does at Third Wave Studios: creating games with mass appeal that feature women, people of color, and LGBTQ characters. To make his job even better, his best friend is his boss, and his twin brother works beside him. And they mostly agree that being on the forefront of social change is worth dealing with trollish vitriol—Niles is more worried about his clingy ex and their closeted intern’s crush on his brother than he is about internet harassment.
But now the bodies on the ground are no longer virtual, and someone’s started hand-delivering threats to Niles’s door. The vendetta against Third Wave has escalated, and to make matters worse, the investigating detective is an old flame who left Niles heartbroken for a life in the closet.
No change happens without pain, but can Niles justify continuing on with Third Wave when the cost is the blood of others? If he does, the last scene he writes may be his own death.
I thought this was going to be romantic suspense with a m/m romance and that combination sounded great. It turned out to have a different focus.
The video gaming industry is front and center with a lens on discrimination practices by players and developers. The main character, Niles River, has just introduced a game that flies in the face of the stereotypes for women, people of color and LGBTQ characters. The haters come out in force spewing vitriol through social media and other outlets. When fans of the game end up dead and Niles receives threats that go beyond the typical, the police get involved, bringing in a detective from his past.
The emphasis on the gamer world and the activism for change eclipse both the mystery and the romance. I might have had a better experience if I was a player and understood anything about today’s popular games. It was extremely educational and enlightening, just not what I was expecting or interested in.
It’s a well written story and a tribute to those attempting to change the gaming environment. The discriminatory images are deplorable and behaviors not much better. I’m glad I read the story but wish I had had a better understanding of the subject matter.
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