Ender’s Gamification

Ender’s Game is a classic piece of literature disguised as a YA novel.  I’m not sure why I decided to reread it, except that it was on my Kindle and I noticed a new forward by Orson Scott Card, the writer of Ender’s Game.  Once through the forward, I was onto the novel and quickly remembering why it’s one of my favorites.

Though it was originally released over two decades ago, Ender’s Game still has a lot of gas in the tank.  I’m not going to spoil the fun of the novel by repeating the plot, but I’ll give you Amazon’s take on the brilliant novel:

Intense is the word for Ender’s Game. Aliens have attacked Earth twice and almost destroyed the human species. To make sure humans win the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding military geniuses — and then training them in the arts of war… The early training, not surprisingly, takes the form of ‘games’… Ender Wiggin is a genius among geniuses; he wins all the games… He is smart enough to know that time is running out. But is he smart enough to save the planet?

And that’s it at a glance–they train him through games.  While this seems like nothing new for those familiar with the military, the way they accomplish their goals proves to be an eye opener at the climax.  Conversation about the gamification of life has grown over the years.  I’ve added to the discussion through my own novel, cleverly titled–Gamers, about a more overt attempt to influence mass quantities of children through games.  But rereading Mr. Card’s novel reminds me that he paved the way with his ideas over two decades ago.  If you enjoy games, science fiction, or just plain ol’ good literature give Ender’s Game a read.  You won’t be disappointed.

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