RATING: 4 *
In The Game Master by Ian D. Copsey, Josh is a mild-mannered kid who’s trying to fit in with everyone as best as he can. In order not to be picked on or bullied, Josh befriended the least aggressive of the troublemakers, Alex. Alex always wins in video games, so Josh looked up on the internet on how to beat him. When he did, Alex accuses him of cheating and Josh obviously denies it. They agree on a new game to settle their bet to declare the best gamer. A mysterious shopkeeper, who calls himself The Game Master, suggests the virtual reality role playing game called The Game of Life to the boys.
The name itself is clearly self-explanatory. The Game of Life is not like any typical combat, sword-fighting game, but it encompasses the player’s life itself. Josh is the first one who realizes this when he ‘wakes up’ after getting hurt in a football game during P.E. There are ‘lights’ to indicate the level of a player’s happiness, thoughts, mood, behavior, confidence, creativity and well being. I’m an avid Sims player, and these features remind me of my favorite simulation game.
The characters are relatable and well-developed. I do know boys like Josh and Alex, and I bet other readers will too. Fun and adventurous, The Game Master is also charming, imaginative, humorous and yet very relevant in terms of cultivating ethical values in the younger generation. On the whole, young and older readers will find this book worth reading.
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite