It’s 1983. Simon, Darren, Russell, Lisa, and Don have just completed their first video game: Realms of Gold. Simon, Darren, Don, and Lisa go on to found Black Arts, which becomes a legendary video game company. Russell goes on to fail at life.

“A generation of lawyers and statisticians cut their teeth on the to-hit and damage tables of medieval fantasy. File it under yet another ridiculous thing that probably saved somebody’s life.”

page 78

It’s now 1997. Simon has died tragically, Black Arts isn’t doing well financially, and Russell gets a job as an entry-level game designer. In the process of making Black Arts’ next—and hopefully not last—game, Russell finds himself, his passion, and one incredibly insidious bug in the game engine Simon wrote in 1983. A game engine that no one can read, no one has bested, and no Black Arts game has eschewed.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

This is the second book we’ve reviewed that utilizes 1980 video game culture as a core theme. In Ready Player One, a future-set protagonist is immersed in the culture and games of the 1980s. In You, Russell—a modern protagonist—is discovering that he grew up in a video game culture and in order to save himself, his friendships, and his company he must embrace that geeky side of himself.

I suspect that as the video game industry matures and earns more respect as a form of entertainment, we’ll start to see a mainstreaming of novels that use it as a core plot component. I, for one, welcome it.

Rating (4 stars)

You blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction and tells a story that many geeks can relate to. There are elements of my own life reflected in this book’s characters. It makes it easy to relate and be drawn into their story.

Here at GeekyLibrary, we try keep an archive of geeky quotes from the books we read. You did not disappoint. It’s full of geeky references, quotes, situations, and humor.

Unlike the video games it focuses on however, I found the end somewhat anti-climactic. I very nearly rated it three stars due to this. I reconsidered while writing this review and I’m giving it four stars. In You, it’s the quest that matters, not the treasure at the end.