CRRP Exploratory Draft 1
The young adult genre is very vast. The books that are under its influence are very eclectic, they range from romance, science fiction, to even steampunk. For the Win written by Cory Doctorow is written under the science fiction section in the young adult genre. Since this is a story that is supposed to draw in young readers, it needs to have a hook that draws the youth in, For the Win uses games and tactical storytelling to do this. It centers on three teens, Matthew, Leonard, and Mala; who are all situated in different parts of the world, but they all have one thing in common, they are all extremely good at online MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games). Because of their in-game skills, they are hired by companies to play their games, as they do this, their earnings make them feel powerful, enough to stand up against the adults who pay them. This is a central theme that runs across the young adult genre, a tale of struggling teenagers who stand up against the wrongful adults in their lives. This also shows their independence as they grow to be their own person, away from their parents. Doctorow tells this story for each of the teenagers For the Win follows.
Matthew is a Chinese player of Svartalfaheim Warriors, who excels in gold farming. This means he knows how to play in a way that allows him to acquire as much virtual gold as possible. He does this so that he can sell his virtual gold to companies for real money. At first he was hired by Boss Wing to play for him, but soon realized that he was taking away his profits as the middle man in the exchange. So Matthew decides to stand up against Boss Wing and leaves his company so he can play on his own with his friends to earn even more gold on their own. The act of separating from Boss Wing is important in the young adult genre, this signifies his growth from his experiences within Boss Wing’s company. It is important to show growth within the character, because the readers themselves are growing, adolescence is the part of one’s life where they develop their own self and become their own person. It is why they often rebel against the people in their lives that try to control their movements. So for Matthew to separate from Boss Wing, it is only appealing to the target audience’s sense of ethos. Although, when Boss Wing catches wind of their activity, he sends workers to destroy Matthew’s computers and relays the message that Boss wing wants him back or this will only happen again. This part of the story is to let the readers know that they will face obstacles along the way in their journey of self discovery.
Leonard Goldberg, our next protagonist, is an American player who is employed by other players to help them level up much faster than if they were to play on their own. Leonard’s story of rebelling against his overbearing father comes in the form of running away, when they get into a car crash he runs off and starts living on his own with the money he earns from gaming for Coca-Cola Games. In this instance Leonard teaches what the audience can do if they work hard enough, and what can happen if they believe in their own skills. Though Doctorow has a habit of knocking some sense into the character’s heads by reminding them there will always be repercussions to their actions. When Leonard turns eighteen he returns home to find out that his father has passed away. Teaching the readers is another key point in the young adult genre. With Leonard’s story, Doctorow teaches the audience that the actions parents take may seem oppressive, but in truth parents take those actions because they believe it is what will benefit their children the most in the long run.
The last protagonist is Mala, an Indian gamer who controls a large army of players. She leads them and strategizes the best way to defeat her enemies. Her local fame catches the eye of Mr. Banerjee who hires her to defeat his business rivals so that he can monopolize that game. She earns enough money under Mr. Banerjee, that she rents a better apartment for her mother and brother, because of her gaming, they are able to live better lives. Mala’s story of independence is the most powerful of the three, because she is the only one who becomes more powerful than her parents. She truly become independent from her and takes over the path her life will follow. Through Mala, Doctorow teaches the audience that they don’t have to accept the situation you are born into, you can learn skills that will help you get out of tough situations.
The young adult genre overall is about expressing stories of the youth. By telling these stories, authors can teach them that they can fight through the adversities than come into their lives, but they must also understand that it life is not easy. To get what you truly want, problems will occur, and ones that you would never expect. For the Win hits all of these points and then some, which makes it deserving of being titled under the young adult genre.