Reviewed by Danielle
TITLE: Press START to Play
AUTHOR: Briana Lawrence
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 61 pages
BLURB: Lukis Singleton’s once-popular sports column is fading fast, thanks to the terrible track record of the local football team. In an attempt to save the column, Lukis’s editor, John, decides he needs to go in a different direction. Video games are all the rage these days, so John insists that sending Lukis to a huge video-game tournament in Los Angeles will shake up his current readers and bring in new ones. Lukis isn’t thrilled about reporting on games with impossible powers or gamers who still live in Mom’s basement, but then he meets a tempting flaw in the gaming stereotypes of unwashed man-children. Aaron Sanders is a gorgeous breath of fresh air at the tournament who takes Lukis’s less-than-stellar view of gamers and turns it on its head, leaving Lukis to wonder if it might be worth being Aaron’s player two.
This story is written for the Make a Play Anthology for Dreamspinner Press and centers around a football journalist named Lukis. Being a writer for a sports column, he finds himself writing the same thing every week about how his team continuously failed. Loosing readers fast, he gets ordered – you could say challenged – to write a story about a tournament that is being played outside the state and also to interview a guy from his city who is competing. Being glad to get out of the cold for a bit, he takes up the offer – till he finds out it is actually a gaming tournament he is supposed to cover and that the article he is supposed to write is with a gamer.
We see Lukis struggling with the question whether gaming is a sport or not, while seeing him meet up a nice, young man who grabs his attention immediately. Finding out that this guy is a competitor and not a part of the press like himself, has him surprised but also fascinated.
Letting the guy walk away, it has him curious and he begins to check where to find him and what he is competing in.
A funny (but not so surprising) part in the story is when Lukis finds out the gamer is Aaron the man from his city – the one he is supposed to interview.
Not wanting to expose too much of the story, it is enough to say that through Aaron, Lukis gets to see another part of gaming and finds out the appeal and the attraction that can be there for people in it. Aaron even gets him to look at some things about himself in a different way with his open and kind approach.
The interaction between Lukis and Aaron is great. It is easy to read, has humor and doesn’t bore you at all. It is refreshing and funny, but still having a serious undertone that I really liked.
It is nice to read how Aaron shows Lukis certain things and makes him even play a game – which by the way is also my critic because I think the story was focused on the explanation of the games and the gamers and how to deal with them – that focus was more on it than was necessary and being no gamer – that for me is a bit too long considering the total length of the story.
The writer takes us to a hot, sexy scene at the end. But after that, the story ends, leaving the reader hanging with no clue about where it will go next and without any feeling of direction, that’s a shame.
Mostly because of that I rate this story at 3 stars, where I can imagine that for a gamer who will take great joy in the excessiveness of that in the story it will definitely be more. Leaves me to mention the last sentence of this story is totally captivating and a great sum up of the story and is definitely worth mentioning
“From Football to Video Games: All Sports, One and the Same”
Danielle J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.
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