Epic: The Game
by Jack Kaminskie

"Consciousness is one global field that we tap into with the antennae that exist in our brains."

Bryson Carmichael is a tech wunderkind who has created a new experience in gaming. Epic offers an experience to the user unlike any other. The decisions made by the users have ramifications in reality. In 2025, Billy Middleton will become all too familiar with his potential as he has fallen victim to the game. Billy’s family is stunned and saddened at the tragic death of young Billy. John Middleton, Billy’s dad, decides to explore the game to understand Billy’s obsession with the world within the game. The game consists of twenty levels, and Billy was close to achieving victory before his passing. Billy’s sister and mother become further concerned as Epic similarly consumes John’s days and nights. John believes Billy is in the game and can be saved, but whether that idea is based on reality or grief remains to be seen.

The world of the unknown that exists in the universe of the video game and the escapism it provides form a distinct part of this sci-fi novel. An underlying theme that is explored in the story is grief. The loss of the love of his life fuels Bryson’s workaholic ways, which lead to the creation of Epic. Meanwhile, John Middleton’s sorrow blinds him to the consequences of the game. The author portrays the characters’ array of emotions with empathy while skillfully transitioning between their points of view. The storyline alternates between the universe contained in the game and the messy reality in which the Middletons are living. The story’s appeal lies not only in its take on gamer culture but also in its broad strokes of existentialism.

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