What if Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was an avid gamer? Better yet, what if the entire structure of the U.S. government as we know it was thrown on its head and ordinary people came to occupy the nation’s most powerful posts.
This is the premise for a new book entitled The Naperville White House from author Mark Pedriani. The story, set in the near future, revolves around a “fantasy government game,” called Nationizer, in which players man different governmental positions. Following a terrorist attack on the nation’s capitol, the players in the fictional game are suddenly thrust into action, becoming “the nation’s only real hope.”
In the book’s preamble, the author describes the era in which fantasy government games took off in popularity. In a world with strife, the media started looking to virtual politicians for interviews and ideas, even as actual politicians, perhaps sensing a threat, denigrated their virtual brethren. In response to the game’s growing popularity, and some employers banning their charges from taking part in the title, the gaming industry formed the International Organization of Fantasy Government (IOFG).
The President of the Alternate government is Jay Weise of Naperville, Illinois, who serves as an insurance adjuster by day. His Secretary of State, Julia Ortiz, is a librarian, while the Secretary of Defense, Duane Kilmer, is described as "a part-time truck driver and obsessive gamer.”
Sounds like a crazy plotline that might be right up the alley of GP readers. We have an advance copy here that we will try to burn through and provide some more thoughts on.
Bancroft Press is publishing the book.