A group of pretend adventurers suit up for a campaign called "The South Seas Treasure Game". As in the early Role Playing Games, there are Dungeon Masters, warriors, magicians, and thieves. The difference? At Dream Park, a futuristic fantasy theme park full of holographic attractions and the latest in VR technology,they play in an artificial enclosure that has been enhanced with special effects, holograms, actors, and a clever storyline. The players get as close as possible to truly living their adventure.
All's fun and games until a Park security guard is murdered, a valuable research property is stolen, and all evidence points to someone inside the game. The park's head of security, Alex Griffin, joins the game to find the killer, but finds new meaning in the games he helps keep alive.
©1981 Larry Niven & Steven Barnes (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Unadulterated wish fulfillment." (Locus)
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This book was written in 1981, which if read then would be more exciting. This was early even for the gaming world. At one point they even mention flat screen television. Parts of the book were exciting while other parts were not so much. Dream Park is a park where all the rides are virtual reality type rides and they can be pretty intense. About once a year the park sponsors a several day virtual game. The players pay thousands of dollars to play and come from all around the world, except I guess they all speak English ( kind of an oversight by the authors). There are a lot of problems with this book. First it is hard to get too excited when players don't really die, it is kind of like watching your brother play video games, how exciting is that. Second they throw in a mystery, which you'll have figured out almost as soon as it happens. The authors need to stick to Sci-fi and Fantasy not mystery. Third, a real murder takes place and no real cops are called in, because they game is too important. Fourth, a real murder takes place and when they find out who did it they let him go, so the game will not suffer and we are suppose to feel sorry for a thief who facilitated the murder. I having said all that the concept is pretty cool and I will probably read some of the other books in this series. Stefan Rudnicki is the narrator and like usual he does a great job.
Very enjoyable, with a fun and easy plot line. Dream Park is every gamer's dream come true. If ever there was a book that could use today's special effects to become a movie, this is it.
"Compelling and original science fiction"
Narrator is amazing, great story. I found that the authors really have found a new spin for sci fi/fantasy here. I expecially found the descriptions of the marvels of dream parks attractions.
The book is well written, but it really shouldn't be in the Sci-Fi genre. It is a fantasy book chocked full of elfin magic. I don't care for this kind of book. Also, the crime mystery sub-story is so easy to figure out.
This was probably cutting edge when it came out, but there have been many similiar stories since, and I couldn't seem to get through this story.
"No Punch pulled - Sounds like Text to Speech."
Dream Park. A place of synthetic reality and all too real "negative interpersonal humanoid interactions". So should we be surprised that the narrator for this fun exciting romp... sounds like a machine cranking out words? Should we simply be thankful for an audio book company to have covered a series of classics? It's hard to say. But if we asked Mr. Rudnicki to narrate the words they would be clear, precise, but might miss out on nuance.
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