‘Backward Compatible’ is an adorable geek love story, I’m surprised I liked that much by the end. But let’s start at the beginning.
Katie and George are both gaming nerds and while I don’t possess the focus to even sit through the loading stage of a game without losing interest in it, I’ve been around fandoms enough to know the basic feel of it. I may not have gotten every reference thrown into this story but it didn’t damper my enjoyment in the least. The story is told alternating between Katie’s and George’s point of view. They both meet at a midnight release of a video game, FDX, and George kind of steals Katie’s game. Well, she maybe drops it or doesn’t drop it and George picks it up and who even cares?!
They meet again a couple of days later and start to hang out and of course start gaming with each other. Among them are also a couple of their friends, such as George’s best friend and those they meet along they way as the group of gamers tries to win a prize that’s hidden inside the game. It’s a very big deal, there are keys hidden all over the game and each player can only carry one of them and you need them in order to fight the big secret boss of the game for which you also need a level 42 bard. Yeah, sorry, the whole game sounds kinda ridiculous but also like a lot of fun.
I really enjoyed the geeky neediness of this story. Here’s a girl who isn’t ashamed of liking to play video games and it’s fun and a really nice read I can only recommend if you fall on the geekier spectrum of life.
There were only a few things that bothered me with this book. One is the oftentimes crude language or at least that’s how I perceived it. The characters use a LOT of swearwords and while I like throwing them around myself, reading them this much felt weird to me.
Then at the beginning, Katie tricks George into giving her his game since he allegedly stole her copy in the store. First she tries crying in front of him and when that doesn’t work she uses her body to get what she wants and that’s where my problem lies. Since this happens right in the beginning, I wasn’t too happy with it. Maybe it’s because this is something I’d never do. I’d have been angry and insulted him but I don’t think I would have played George like that, just to get my game back.
Alas, it is all uphill from there. After a couple of pages, the story really finds itself and is pleasant to read. While there is a romance in it, it’s not the dominant thing, or at least not to me, it was more the coming together of a group of people through this game and starting to be friends with each other. There are some old friendships plus new people getting into this circle and I like that. Oftentimes, friendships are not treated that well in literature and get overshadowed by romance plots so I’m always happy when friendships are valued.
As far as I know this book is only available as an ebook but the presentation of it is still lovely. I’ve not had my eReader that long but oftentimes the books you download are just very plain without even an attempt to make them special. Here, each chapter has a little graphic and the sections when Katie’s and George’s point of view change also got a small drawing which gives the whole thing some more flair.
Okay, so I hope I convinced you to give this book a try because I really enjoyed it. It goes into the direction of Fangirl but with gaming instead of fanfiction.