GameLit is a subgenre of fantasy fiction where characters live in a world like a role-playing video game. They have attributes, levels and features that are common in MMORPGs like “World of Warcraft” and other online or virtual reality games.
“For example,” explains Andrew Seiple, “the knight over there knows that if he wades through a couple more goblins, he could gain a level.”
Seiple says GameLit authors have recently gained attention as the result of the popular novel “Ready Player One.” His book, “Threadbare,” takes place in its own universe with its own unique game mechanics.
“In Threadbare, nobody knows they're in a game,” says Seiple. “All they know is that about 40 years ago, the world changed and people started seeing words appear when they did things. Like, ‘Charisma +1’ and stuff like that.”
Tolkien meets Toy Story
The title character in “Threadbare” is a teddy bear who gets magically animated as part of an experiment. His creator works with Golems, which are beings made from inanimate material.
“Threadbare’s creator made him trying to get one of his skills to work right,” says Seiple. “He can't quite crack it, and Threadbare is part of a test batch the creators made.”
Though “Threadbare’s” creator considers his creation to be a failure, his daughter falls in love with the now-living stuffed animal. The two go on many adventures together as the reader starts to realize that “Threadbare” is not the failure his creator thought he was.
“There's some other stuff going on, and the creator has some enemies which turn out to be a very big threat to Threadbare and his little girl,” says Seiple. “At the end of the day, Threadbare is the story of a teddy bear and his little girl.”
GameLit on “The Ladies Get Lit.”
So how did Whoopi find “Threadbare”? Is the actress and talk show host, who once starred in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” a fan of this niche genre of fiction?
“Honestly, the only thing I can think of is that she encountered it in the wild. People read books,” Seiple said. “That's one of the amazing things about being a writer. You fire your books out there, and you have no idea who will pick them up or when. You have no control over that.”
In this case, Seiple fired Threadbare out into the world, and it was picked it up by Whoopi Goldberg, who found the book worthy of praise on her show.
“I’m still kind of amazed at that,” says Seiple. “I'm wondering what I did in a past life to deserve it. It's very humbling. This could happen to anyone who dares to write and publish.”
Whoopi’s seal of approval
On “The View,” Goldberg praised “Threadbare” as “a wonderful book.” She reminded viewers twice that “Threadbare” is “not a kid’s book.”
“It made me so happy when I started to read it,” Goldberg told viewers.
Immediately following the broadcast, sales of Threadbare have surged, Seiple said. Seiple has noticed an increase in his other books, as well.
In a Facebook post, Seiple observes, “There's a heck of a lot more people reading my book that wouldn't know about it otherwise.”
Beavercreek author Andrew Seiple’s book Threadbare Volume I: Stuff and Nonsense was chosen by Whoopi Goldberg to be featured on a segment on The View called “The Ladies Get Lit.” The novel is about an animated teddy bear who lives in a video game world.