Google is getting into so many parts of our world it had to be only a matter of time until they got further into the world of gaming. Gaming is the Rock and Roll of our generation. Our kids listen to many of the same bands we grew up with…but the thing they do which we mostly can’t do and don’t get is gaming. Google is teaming up with James Frey who I think of as the guy who wrote the very good Million Little Pieces, then got yelled at by Oprah because he wasn’t clear enough where the real world left off and the fiction began. In any event he’s now a big player in the Young Adult category. His latest venture teams him up with the Google gaming guys to produce Endgame. This will be a cross media book/massive online game which follows a dozen teenagers across the world. The kids in the story are trying to save the world, the players of the book/game will be trying to solve the clues which will lead them to the key which will unlock a chest of gold worth $500K on display in Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
It’s not an entirely novel idea, Masquerade was a kids treasure hunt book about a rabbit which was a big thing in the UK a decade or so ago and more recently someone achieved their fifteen minutes of fame by hiding cash in various California locations and leaving clues on Twitter.
This project sounds like World of Warcraft meets Hunger Games combined with Ender’s Game (great book …horrible movie BTW). The sad fact is that one of my guilty pleasures is I actually quite like Young Adult fiction. Although I draw the line at Breaking Dawn, I did read all the Hunger Games books and I’m a huge fan of Orson Scott Card, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman all of whom supposedly target younger readers. I guess that means that although I may be able to follow the story I won’t be able to win the $500K without gaming help from a teenager.