Saturday, April 09, 2011


All Jim wants to do is die. Is that too much to ask?

Apparently so. Jim was a student at a wizarding college who died when students from a nearby warrior college attacked them. Then, sixty years later, an supposedly evil wizard brought Jim and a whole graveyard of corpses back to life to be his horrific minions. But when the overlord gets himself wiped out by angelic beings, Jim finds himself on a quest: he needs to find out what's keeping him alive so he can reverse it. But on the way, he finds himself beset by religious fanatics, mindless heroes who only seem interested in "quest points," and strange communications from another level of reality who seem to think that Jim's life is nothing but a game.

That's the basic premise of Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw, a book that asks the question, what would an MMORPG look like from the perspective of one of the computer controlled characters?

From a craft perspective, this book isn't the best. Croshaw's voice is inconsistent when it comes maintaining a proper voice. There are times when he wants Jim and his crew to have a more epic fantasy feel but just as quickly allows them to lapse into modern-sounding jargon. The grammar made me wince every now and then (even allowing that Croshaw is a British man living in Australia now).

At the same time, as a send-up of MMORPGs, I found myself chuckling more than once. Some of the scenes are laugh-out-loud funny and there were a few times when I was feeling nostalgic for my World of Warcraft account.

I guess the upside is, don't read this book if you're looking for serious fantasy (or even a parody of fantasy). This book probably could best be appreciated by those who, like me, are either recovering MMORPG addicts or those who are still playing.

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