It turns out JPod is about as pointless and unbelievable as could be conceived, and maybe that’s the underlying statement. The characters lose themselves in fantasy, while their lives are beyond fantasy. The irony of wanting to replace yourself with something that is less bizarre. But that’s a lot of pages to get a simple ironic message across. The only real sad thing is that nothing comes close to the promise of the first two pages.
One thing that did amuse me was impossible to plan, and can only come from reading something years after it was written. They mention constantly the golden age of the 90’s, and they’re right, it was a golden age for tech. But the videogame industry of 2006 compared with 2012 must seem like a forgotten golden age itself. Most videogame companies haven’t even come close to their new worth in 2006 (check out Ubi-Soft’s or Nintendo’s stock history). It’s easy to do nothing on the job when times are good, you’re rising with the tide, and it provides the temporary environment for the characters unrelatable nihilistic attitudes.
Do authors intentionally make their characters unrelateable? It’s a hard thing to pull off, and something people like to try since Seinfeld. But that was a stroke of genius, or a fluke. I can’t understand why would anyone would want to. How does that motivate you?
In the end the book left me hating the concept of a videogame culture. Not games themselves, just the culture, or at least the one that’s portrayed in the book. It turns out there’s good reason to avoid mixing passions for literature and games.
He’s also ruined the name Kaitlin for me. I never minded it before, but now seeing it in writing makes cringe.