Review: My Video Game Ate My Homework
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dustin Hansen
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
In my review: My Video Game Ate My Homework we meet Dewey Jenkins, a 13-year old school kid who’s about to fail science class. What happens next is an amazing adventure that leads Dewey and his friends to a virtual world. Here they will have to overcome all sorts of digital creatures and solve puzzles in order to get home.
Positives — Characters
Dewey has dyslexia. But in the video game he and is friends must survive Dewey’s avatar is a wordsmith named Overdew. He is charged with carrying the Eldest Book. The book has infinite pages and contains powerful spells. But they only work if you read them correctly.
In this way, Dewey portrays a struggle that all readers with a learning difficulty must fight to overcome. Throughout the story Dewey learns powerful lessons about facing his fears. It helps that he has great friends and a twin sister.
Beatrice is Dewey’s twin sister and polar opposite. She is loyal, strident, and everything that Dewey wishes he could have. Her avatar is Glitterbee.
Donald Ferguson is the hungry friend we all know and love. His hunger for food, life, and adventure is boundless. Donald’s hunger is matched only by the bear-ly contained ferocity of his avatar The Ferginator. When his true nature is fully revealed in the game, it is a well-earned moment for the reader.
Likewise, every moment Donald is on the page there is always the chance something will break. Donald breaks the Infinity Lens VR machine that his father, the school principal, had under his desk. When he asks Dewey to help fix it, the whole team discovers the adventure of a teenage lifetime.
Katherine Ortiz walks softly. Her avatar Katastrophic carries a big hammer. The result is a wonderful combination of loyalty and strength.
Positives — Story
Dewey’s volcano science experiment is right out of a 1980s sitcom. When Donald brings over the busted Infinity Lens the thunder and lightning begin to stir. Transportation to a strange new world occurs via a portal of imagination.
The result is a magical world with its own rules. Luckily the rules of gaming still apply. The always helpful extra-life and other classic elements are used to great effect. Fans of current and classic gaming will find delight in every panel.
Hansen’s story is a testament to the power of video games. My biggest complaint is that this video game seemed too easy. When I was a young gamer it was the games that presented a challenge I might take days to overcome that really impacted me. It was how they earned my respect.
Dustin does an amazing job creating characters that the reader can care about. His legendary work in gaming is on display with stunning originality and world-building. Young gamers, comic book fans, and lovers of great adventure will find this book is a perfect addition to their reading collection. Reserve space on your physical or digital bookshelf today.