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Review: For The Win

For The WinFor The Win by Cory Doctorow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly, this book is like "The Jungle" for our times, just it takes place in PC farms in Malaysia, India, and China. Interspaced a few times throughout the story of the characters are a few chapters about the economic principles of an increasingly multi-national world, written in a easy to understand fashion. The chapters that take place in China seem authentic with the current economic conditions there (low-educated workers streaming in from the countryside to be taken advantage of in the city-based factories).

The chapters in China with "Jie" (the pirate-broadcasting girl) — her introduction at all, really — seem a bit contrived, but hey: it’s a story. I’ll forgive it, and it helps move the book along.

I particularly liked the chapters dealing with the MMORPG "headquarters" — I can almost imagine a room like controlling World of Warcraft, subtly changing game mechanics and coefficients to keep players hooked.

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