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I've googled off and on for years, but I can't seem to find it.

It's set a little bit into the future. Most humans have been wiped out by a virus, but there are three (or four?) cities left. Every time a new section of land opens up that can actually be lived on, the cities have a virtual competition (war), to decide who gets it.

I remember that the kids that play the simulations are bred for it (take athletic genes and mix them in), and I remember that one of the kids is deformed, but in the simulation they make him seem normal. The players aren't supposed to ever meet, but one of the players is a hacker, and set everything up.

I think I read it as a teen - maybe 15 years ago? I started reading at a college level really early, so it's hard for me to judge. I don't remember how old it is or anything. I remember I got it from a library at school, and loved it. Even though it will probably ruin my memory, I would love to find it again!


marked as duplicate by Otis, Valorum story-identification Oct 13 '16 at 16:26

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Devastation (also published as "Virtual War") by Gloria Skurzynski

The earth’s population has been decimated by disease and natural disasters—and those who remain live in domed cities, sealed off to prevent the spread of further devastation. In eighteen days, there will be a bloodless, virtual war between the few remaining world powers with the winner to take possession of the only place on Earth still safe to live undomed—a remote tropical island in the Pacific.

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  • I'll read it tonight to make sure. But i'm pretty sure thats it! I never would have found it...I dont recognize the book name or the author. I hope you realized you just solved a 10-15 year old puzzle for me ;) – Fooldj Jul 13 '15 at 19:23
  • @Fooldj Happy I could help you out. Just hope the book is as good as you remember. :) – Daft Jul 13 '15 at 19:24
  • that was definitely it! Thanks tons! The book was just as great as when I was a kid, although I understood a little bit more this time ;) It was actually first published in 1999, as "Virtual War", and is part of the "Virtual War Chronologs". Devastation is a compendiam of the first two books, Virtual War, and The Clones. – Fooldj Jul 14 '15 at 14:57
  • @Fooldj happy days! 👍 – Daft Jul 14 '15 at 16:57

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