Warcross: The video game we all wish we could play

This young adult novel interprets the modern populous's fascination of video games, and an inevitable end we may face.

Chase Bakkensen, Reporter

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Warcross, by Marie Lu, brings life to a world run by video games. The protagonist, Emika Chen, is a bounty hunter who tracks down and apprehends those who illegally bet on the games.

One day, after returning home from a failed bounty, Emika’s landlord gives her a notice of eviction. In desperation for money Emika tries to hack the opening game of the International Warcross Tournament. Things go awry and Emika ends up exposing herself to the entire world.

The next day she gets a phone call from Hideo Tanaka, the creator of the video game. The phone call doesn’t go how she expected and before she knows it she finds herself in Japan working for Hideo undercover in the Warcross Tournament. Her mission is to catch a hacker who has been messing with the Warcross mainframe.

The tournament is hard for Emika. She needs to win her matches to figure out who the hacker is, but winning against internationally ranked players is as hard as it sounds.  

Her time in Japan brings Emika to the darker side of the internet. After she discovers a sinister plot to destroy Warcross and its maker, her life is suddenly full of assassination attempts and suspicion. Between that and her new relationship with Hideo, she is finding it very hard to focus on her job.

This book shows an interesting interpretation of a future where video games control everything but people’s everyday actions. It is a somewhat unrealistic future, but now that video games are contributing largely to people’s lives, this book becomes relevant. Current games such as Fortnite and MineCraft hold lots of sway over people’s lives. People who share videos of themselves playing or live streaming themselves playing can make a life out of it.

If you enjoyed Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, or are into things such as video games, strong heroine protagonists and sci-fi this is definitely a book for you.