I did a post about this genre before, and had a very positive response to it. Billy Higgins has been bugging me a bit, so I thought, it might be time to do another.
The genre is young, but it’s growing. Many of you will have seen SAO or Log Horizon, very popular animes.
They deal with the idea of being trapped in the virtual world. It is one way to handle it, and one that works, but it falls flat. The idea of being forced out of the world into one of make believe doesn’t sit right with me. The lack of will, and true desire to be there drains much of the enjoyment from it.
Ark and Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, are for me better, but the characters are single notes. They are using the virtual world to change their life; in terms of money, it’s a job to them, and while the joy and excitement of exploration is there, it is missing depth.
Ready Player One is a very mainstream novel that comes at it from a different direction, a scavenger hunt to win the whole system. It is filled with 80’s pop references and is clever and fun, but it deals with a very real issue that affects our generation. Isolation. Escapism.
Some of the recommendations that my readers, you, have given to me, include the Alterworld books, which have another take on the whole thing. Permas are a key component, people that have spent too long in the game so they remain, impressed as a part of it. It is much more than that, and well worth the read.
I have linked them here before so I won’t go further into depth on them now.
This leads me on to a web serial that I have fallen in love with, so much so that I wish I could chain the writer down and make him write it quicker.
As of today, Continue Online, has 23 chapters and interludes.
The reason that Continue Online enthralls me so much is the main character, Grant Legate. It is not a job, or a trap, it is a journey of self discovery. Grant is middle aged, a workaholic and almost a widower. This is in total contrast to the vast majority of protagonists in LitRPG. He is old, and set in his ways, but there is a depth to him, and his interactions, that grants it more than the currently simple storyline does.
I would advise you all to check it out. I know I will be following it closely.