When you aren’t catching up on your favorite book, summer’s a great time to catch up on favorite video games (Dare I bring up Pokemon Go here?). Why not combine two great pastimes and read books about video games? YA classics and trending novels like Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Feed by M.T. Anderson and Ready Player One by Ernie Cline are a great place to start for gamers who want to read about gaming. Gamers looking to level up their fiction and nonfiction reading about gaming should check out these eight YA and adult titles.
Playing Tyler by T.L. Costa — Because of his ADHD, Tyler is worried about his future. He is a caring, responsible teen who helps his brother through rehab, but he much better at video games than school work. He’s given the opportunity to beta test a flight simulator game that could help him get into flight school. After he meets and falls in love with Ani, the game’s genius teen developer, he realizes that the game may be more than he originally thought.
Insignia by S.J. Kinkaid — As WWIII rages for control of the resources of the solar system, teen virtual reality gaming expert Tom is recruited from a his struggling life to attend a prestigious military training academy.
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner — Michael, a gifted hacker, spends much of his time in a virtual reality world called the VirtNet. When the Mortality Doctrine associated with VirtNet super hacker Kaine causes deaths in the real world, the government calls Michael and his friends in to save lives.
The Leveller by Julia Durango — Nixy works as a virtual reality bounty hunter. For a fee, she will pull kids out of the MEEP. But when the MEEP’s creator hires her to find his son Wyn, she realizes that there’s more at stake than in her usual jobs.
The Six by Mark Alpert — When the world is threatened by an artificial intelligence called Sigma, Adam, who has muscular dystrophy and has been told he only has one year to live, and five other terminally ill teens trade their bodies for weaponized robots and train to battle.
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang — Anda enjoys playing Coursegold, a massively-multiplayer role playing game. When she meets Raymond, a Chinese teen who works as a gold farmer in the game, she learns more about the poor conditions of his life outside Coursegold. She inspires him to take action, but his action is not without consequences.
An Illustrated History of 151 Video Games: A detailed guide to the most important games; explores five decades of game evolution by Samuel Parkin — This history covers some of the most significant video games since the 1970s. While it stops in 2012 so it doesn’t include the most recent console games, this book is a great primer for those who want to learn more about the games that influenced gaming as we know it today.
Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design by Scott Rogers — When it’s not enough to just read about video games or play them, why not consider making your own or exploring video game design careers? This book is a great start for teens who want to learn what goes into making a fun and challenging game.
Bonus level: Gamers may also enjoy video game tie in series about games ranging from Halo to The Last of Us so it’s worth checking these out for your collection or recommendation lists.