When, in class, we were discussing the idea of “self” in our “new” world or “new ethos”, I mentioned the book Epic I read, by Conor Kostik . The story line takes place sometime in the future in a communist style society of farmers etc… At night, people of all ages play the game of Epic to earn credits to help them buy items (solar panels, farming equipment, etc..) to help them in their real lives. As the story unfolds, the youth begin to question a few ideals:
- Why is our life predetermined
- Why are we unable to better ourselves
and the most interesting, I found, was “why can’t I change my character to be opposite gender?” The main character challenges the norm by creating a female character. In addition, he puts all her credits into beauty instead of weapons and potions as he had in the past. He then finds that player, in the game, give him secrets and tricks to beating the system.
The message of the book is certainly not that beauty will open doors, rather that thinking outside the box will take you further. A huge message of challenging the system is quite apparent. All in all a great read, particularly for teen gamers who don’t like traditional fiction.
There is a sequel, Saga, however, I was not as impressed with it as I was with the first book.
In the scope of our class conversations and encouraging students to read, Epic becomes quite relevant and timely. Perhaps it should become a course read?