Friday, June 19, 2009

Freaky Friday :|: 16

Title: Game Over
Author: Joseph Locke
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: June 1993
Pages: 192
When Hades, a new video arcade, opens downtown, all the teenagers are thrilled. But the video games are not only violent, the figures on the screen take on familiar faces and characteristics of kids from school. Soon the teens are not only committing bizarre, violent acts . . . they're dying one by one. (from
Editorial Reviews:
Who should preside over sleepy little Dinsmore's newest commercial enterprise but the Devil himself? Introducing himself as Everett Blacke, the proprietor of the Hades video arcade takes special pains to lure the town's teenagers, particularly the pariahs. He steers them to games with names like Roadkill and Safari Slaughter that somehow feature their real-life persecutors, and before long they are committing real-life murders. Can Joe and Lorinda, themselves much taunted, stop Mr. Blacke before he wins everyone's soul? Joe must come to terms with his deepest desires for revenge before he can battle the archfiend. Locke does a good job of setting up the final, epic confrontation between Joe and Mr. Blacke, but Sunday school-solemnity and banal imagery turn the showdown into an anticlimax. The stuff B-movies are made of. (Publishers Weekly,
Yet another unstimulating depiction of good versus evil in the YA world of technology. In this quickly predictable tale of horror, a wicked new video arcade called Hades opens. Its games are similar to the standard violent kill-anyone-in-your-path type that people usually play. But here, the characters on the screen look exactly like the players' school enemies. The players, each increasingly bloodthirsty having had a taste of revenge with the video games, actually begin to murder their enemies. P. J., who played ``Roadkill'' at Hades, later drives his mother's car back and forth over two people. Arlo, who played ``Death Match,'' chops up a classmate with an axe. And so it goes. The plot is transparent and grisly, and the characters are mere stereotypes. Still, the book may be popular with readers who want lots of action and are glad when a story doesn't stray from its familiar conventions. (School Library Journal,
A juvenile version of cosmic conflicts with Satan. Joe Wagner, a video game champ, finds himself in Hades, a video arcade in his neighborhood. He also finds himself locked in combat with the owner of the arcade, Mr. Blacke, as it becomes obvious that the Great Enemy is perverting local teens through their obsession with video games. Ironically, Joe's knowledge of the technology enables him to destroy Hades. Stock characters support Joe, the unexpected hero of this novel, which has some of the same flavor as Card's "Ender's Game", Mahy's "The Changeover", and Charles Williams' plots. There's also a gory scene or two. Don't be surprised if the novel becomes a movie. (BookList,
This one could go either way for me but considering the time it came out, kind of predicted a rather eerie future, didn't it? How many kids do you hear about in the news recreating scenes they played out from video games like Grand Theft Auto? I wonder if Locke's intention was to write about the course of kids and their games or not. Either way, it's kind of creepy.

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