In the novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, a game developer named Dov Mizrah leads a workshop for students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The students have to bring in two games to critique. Dov doesn't answer questions about what programming language is used. He said the idea was to blow each other's minds. The best friends of his student, Sadie Green, find him repulsive and arrogant, with his leather pants, topknot, androofie of a cologne.

If I had a seminar like that in college, I might have stayed with writing fiction. Good games are never boring, even though they can be off-putting, gory, or weird. No one has ever handed another controller and said, "This is God of War." Get through it, force yourself. You have to love the game in order to play it.

Zevin's novel is about creativity, the work process, and design. The two friends make a video game together. The game becomes a classic. They become a legend.

You may be disappointed if you are a tech nerd. Zevin only gives enough detail about the technical process to give the story verisimilitude. A jury-rigged variation on adaptive tile refresh is described in a single sentence by the Ulysses engine. Sam and Sadie's brilliance can be seen in many different ways. Both went to MIT. She has blood vessels in her eyes.

Games are a means of connection for Sam and his friends. A game is incomplete until someone plays it. Sam, Sadie, and Marx have been playing games together for 30 years. They don't say a lot, but they tell each other to "know me". I want you to play with me. It's love me.

Every nerd has had a similar moment of connection, when they realized that out of all the faceless people in the world, there is one who loves the same thing they do. It is not hard to connect. You have a topic to discuss.

Sam and Sadie don't get along with most of the people in their life. Sam is a mixed race person. He is a poor and funny looking person. He doesn't want to talk to anyone else.

Zevin has Sam express his sense of displacement in an interview with Kotaku.