Video Games and Book Pairings

Video games and novels are a lot alike. Both have creative elements, like memorable characters, unique writing, and beautiful images, woven together to form a narrative. If you need a break from screen time (don’t we all?), try picking up one of these books to pair with your favorite video game. 

Have you been deceiving your friends while playing Among Us? You might enjoy the espionage novel American SpyMarie Mitchell, intelligence officer for the F.B.I., must infiltrate Burkina Faso by seducing the president and then assist with a coup that will eventually bring him down. What her boss doesn’t know is that she admires his political leadership. You may be surprised to learn that this story - part romance, part thriller - is inspired by real events. 

I’m more of a casual gamer interested in games that simulate natural settings with a bit of magic. For fans of Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, consider the book On Trails. Environmental journalist Robert Moor presents readers with a series of essays reflecting on many aspects of nature, including memory, ants, and forging ahead on the Appalachian Trail. This book is a little cozy and a perfect call to action for those who care about the natural world.  

Player Unknown Battleground has been a favorite in our household as of late. It’s a great way to connect with your friends... and then kill them. For people who like this style of game, including Apex Legends and Fortnite, I recommend the book that started it all: Battle RoyaleJunior high students are forced to a deserted island to battle each other until there is only one standing. Sound familiar? In addition to inspiring many video games with this narrative, it has also frequently been compared to The Hunger Games.  

Do you like a bit of drama in your life, like building lavish houses and manipulating characters in The Sims? Then you may like Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (author of Daisy Jones and the Six). It's August 1983 at the Rivas' mansion in Malibu; the perfect backdrop for a giant party frequented by surfers and actors. By the next morning, secrets have come out and the house is up in flames. I’m just dying to know what happened, aren’t you? 

What video games have you been playing lately? And what fiction would you recommend to fans of those games?

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