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I only read the Wikipedia summary of a book. In it, a video game of some kind plays an important role in society. I don't know if it's a computer, console, or VR game.

Anyways, I think one of the premises of this society is that, if a player manages to defeat the gamemasters in the game, the player can ask anything of them. I think the main character wants to ask either for a new law of some kind or something for his family.

Another notable detail I remember is that, when the character is creating his in-game persona, he spends all of his stat points on an attribute either called "Beauty" or "Charm", which pretty much everyone believes is completely worthless. However, as a result of this, the game itself starts helping him.

I think he does end up fighting the gamemasters, and one of the gamemasters' characters is a vampire.

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  • 3
    Ready Player One also as a VR game as premise.
    – Pablo H
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 14:07
  • 6
    It's not The Player of Games based on the main question text, but it would certainly qualify as a "book where a game is an important part of society" (and is a great book.)
    – Omroth
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 14:11
  • @Omroth also perhaps The Glass Bead Game.
    – Clumsy cat
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 15:20
  • This really reminds me of Iain Banks' Culture novel The Player of Games Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 22:45
  • Player of Games is demonstrably a board game, and the winner becomes the emperor. But it is a phenomenal book. Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 15:32

1 Answer 1

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Epic (2004) by Conor Kostick.

From Wikipedia:

If a community wishes to redress a perceived injustice, they may challenge Central Allocations or C. A., which is a powerful, select group of nine individuals that controls all of the world's resources and funds the most powerful characters in the game world. All of the members of C. A. are wealthy and possess nearly unbeatable characters in the game. These are the individuals who set challenges which are held in special arenas where various players may attack each other - the last player alive is proclaimed the winner. If you win against the Central Allocations team, then you get what you want, be it a new law, a medical procedure, or a material object. [...]

The story opens with Erik determined to obtain revenge for the unjust treatment of his parents. [...] As an expression of his discontent with the world, Erik had gone against convention in making a human female avatar, which he named Cindella and had deliberately chosen an almost unknown character class, swashbuckler. He put all of his ability points into beauty, which most players consider a waste, as beauty has no benefit in battle. This, incidentally, is the cause for the bland, gray characters that predominate in Epic. But curiously, the tale takes a twist and Erik inherits much wealth from his investment in beauty as the game itself begins to respond to his unique avatar. As a result and freed by the plight of his parents from having to play the game in the usual, risk-avoiding grind, Erik dares to dream he can kill the red dragon and with its wealth, challenge the power of C. A. [...]

This victory propels the teenagers into a series of unexpected encounters including with an evil vampyre (who can kill people in real life from inside the game); the Executioner of C. A.(can kill people in-game); a sinister Dark Elf, and the Avatar of the game itself. The Avatar and the vampyre play a central role in the plot, as they are the opposing sides of the persona that the game itself inexplicably developed. The Avatar represents the game's desire to end its existence and save the people of New Earth, while the vampyre reflects its desire to simply continue existing. They balance each other out in the final conflict of the book, leaving Erik to revolutionise his world by ending the game of Epic.


Found with the Google query scifi book game masters defeat site:en.wikipedia.org.

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