“Anda’s Game” is a 2004 science fiction novelette by Cory Doctorow. It is about a twelve year old girl who belongs to The Fahrenheits – an exclusive all girl organization in an online game.
Non-Spoiler Summary In A Nutshell:
Anda is a British girl who is really good at sword fighting in the online game she plays. She has always used a boy avatar because she didn’t want to attract “pervs” – that is until a famous member of Clan Fahrenheit visits her school and rallies the girls to be proud of their hard work and online skills by using female avatars. Anda is so excited that she gets membership in the exclusive Clan and slowly begins building her skills and experience. When an anonymous player offers her real money to complete difficult and brutal missions she begins to see what is really going on in the online underworld.
“How many of you game?”
Anda put her hand up. So did about half the girls in the room.
“And how many of you play girls?”
All the hands went down.
“See, that’s a tragedy. Practically makes me weep. Gamespace smells like a boy’s armpit. It’s time we girled it up a little. So here’s my offer to you: if you will play as a girl, you will be given probationary memberships in the Clan Fahrenheit, and if you measure up, in six months, you’ll be full-fledged members.”
My Two Cents:
• The good:
- I really enjoyed the fact that this story showed little girls kicking some major butt in online games – it was way cool!
- The idea of online games being used for shady purposes is nothing new, but it is interesting to read about both sides of it in “Anda’s Game”.
- I have read several of Cory Doctorow’s stories and I really enjoy his writing style and subject matter. If you enjoyed any of his other works then you’ll probably like this one too.
• The bad:
- There is a lot of profanity – both the American and British variety – in this story.
- The science fiction element is pretty small in “Anda’s Game”. It is mostly a story about online games and third world sweatshops.
• Page Count: 28
• Word Count: 10,355
Where you can find “Anda’s Game”:
- This novelette first appeared in the November 2004 issue of Salon.
- “Anda’s Game” is included in Cory Doctorow’s book of stories Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present.
- You can still read a free online version at the Salon web site.
Some Interesting Links:
- “Anda’s Game” … “Ender’s Game” … they sound quite a bit alike don’t they? That is NOT an accident – check out Doctorow’s own introduction to the story to find out why that is.
- If you like “Anda’s Game” and want to read more you can find nearly all of Cory Doctorow’s short stories for free at his website.
- You can learn more about Cory Doctorow at Wikipedia.
Craving More Stories?
If you enjoyed this story then you might also like Ender’s Game, about an eleven year old boy who is drafted to command other kids in a very important military game, by Orson Scott Card.