Have you ever seen your chosen profession, hobby, or other general area of knowledge represented in popular media in a way that is just so off-base that you just couldn't take it? I am a video game designer and have been professionally since 1985. I know about video games, MMOs (massively multi-player online games) and the like. I play them and I've made a few. The setup that Stephenson describes for the game T’Rain bugged me so badly in how it was created, how its economy works, how it handles offline play, how players view it and interact with it and and and... I had to stop. Maybe if I had gotten over the hurdle of his chapters on the background, creation and running of the game I would have liked the actual story. I did like "Ready Player One" and that had some technical issues to, but I easily overlooked them in the course of the story. Reamde however spent way too much time going over and over these technical issues in a way that just left me with a really bad feeling and completely pulled me out of the story.
If you are a Stephenson fan, this feels like a solid Stephenson book. If you don't know what really goes into the sausage of a making an MMO you probably won't have the same reaction I did. So please take my review with a grain of salt.
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