This is a repost with additional info of an older question that was never answered. I have stumbled upon this old question while also trying to find the name of the book series myself, as I dearly wish to read it again but for the life of me, I can't remember the name of it.
This is a long shot but I'm really in need of help for this because it was an amazing book. It was either a kid's or YA book. A guess from what year it was published would be 90s-mid 2000s, as I read it around 2008-2011.
- The book cover was in first person view, with the main character holding a weapon, and was a 3D rendered image inside a dungeon or cave (that was very reminiscent of early 90s CGI animation), though there may be variants.
- It would have been set around when computer games were mainstream (maybe around the same time as when it might've been published) It's about a teenage boy who is bored at home, so he looks through an old family computer to play a game and finds one that he has never seen before. When he plays it he gets transported into the game which is a fantasy-medieval setting.
- All that I can remember about the game and story is that the main character is on a quest, he rides horses a lot, (to the point where he can ride horses perfectly in real life), at one point he eats food at an ingame tavern/restaurant? and he tosses the ingame coin currency at the server because he's in a hurry, (don't know why I remember that bit specifically haha), and he meets a gnome/dwarf character who is helping him on his journey, who has a home in an ingame mountain, and that time goes faster in the game. (For example, if he spent 5 minutes in the real world, 3 in-game days would have passed)
- Sometimes as he's playing something stops him from being able the play the game for a few weeks, maybe a concerned parent because he's playing too much or there's a family vacation. I remember during the time when he's not playing the game he's on a farm and knew how to ride the horses there.
- There was a character in the real world who was the main character's sibling, relative or friend. They were like a rival and was also very whiny (to some extent). They were on the farm as well with him and questioned how the main character knew how to ride a horse when he had never done it in real life. This is all I can remember but if you need more specific information I can try and answer. It is definitely not Space Demons or Demons Don't Dream. If anyone knows anything remotely similar please mention it, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!!
It is not an online game or virtual reality game. It was a normal PC game, and all other characters are (I think), just NPCs.
He woke up for the first time in a field/farm and was super confused about what happened and where he was, as he had never played the game before. He is asked a super serious question before starting the game up for the first time, like "are you sure you wish to play ___?", and then he is transported into the game.
He frequently exited the game, to continue his IRL life. And sometimes, he would lose access to the family desktop PC for a couple of days at a time, and when he went back everyone in the game (NPCs), thought he had disappeared because he was gone for ages. I think once, his family when on holidays and he couldn't take the PC, for example.
It was a book series, not a single book. In later books he would play the game again months later in the real world, and years and years would have passed in the game world.
The plot involved 2 main warring sides/factions/countries of humans, but there were fantasy/magical races and characters involved. I vaguely remember something about each side having official colours, one red and one blue. I think the main character was on the blue side.
The original question was never correctly answered, so I'm posting again to see if anyone can remember.
Books that were ruled out in original post: Eden's Gate & Heir Apparent.