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Back Cover Copy

Jay and Buddy are losers. Senior year is almost over and they’re as unpopular as ever.

Everything changes when, in a dusty corner of the high-school’s AV room, they discover The Build, a pixel-perfect computer simulation that appears to be a replica of their hometown. When the boys start tweaking the game’s code, they notice that their changes affect their real world. They’re living, they realize, inside a video game. With godlike power suddenly in their hands, they react as any high schooler would, and hack reality to make their senior year awesome.

But someone--or something--is watching. When The Build’s creator finds his NPCs tinkering with his game, he targets Jay and Buddy for deletion. Thus begins a surreal battle, where Jay and Buddy must rely on their gaming knowledge to save themselves--and the very fabric of existence.

Author Bio

I write ad copy by day, stuff like Simple Bank’s masthead video, PUMA football’s 2017 global campaign, and (being in Portland, OR) plenty of Nike material.

But if you’ve heard my name before, it’s probably because I’m that guy that made a viral video that a million and a half people saw, an open letter to JJ Abrams with some ideas on how to make Star Wars great again. To my surprise and delight, he listened, called me to express his approval, and then incorporated my four story rules into The Force Awakens. If nothing else, the experience taught me to trust my instincts as a storyteller.

In 2010, I wrote The World of Warcraft’s Guide to Winning at Life for Chronicle Books, a satirical self help guide on how to level-up your real life game by deploying your WoW skillz. With In Beta, I’m returning to video games, humor, and longer form narrative. A long-time gamer, I’ve been tinkering with this idea for years. Thank you Inkshares and Nerdist for inspiring me to get it out there.

Why You’ll Love This Story

I’m a fan of absurdist humor. The Metamorphosis. Catch-22. A Confederacy of Dunces. Pineapple Express. I’m interested in stories that start small and human (two lovestruck high school losers) and then go bigger, crazier and completely over-the-top.

This is a story about the myth of the american dream. We live in an age when a majority of the population feels disgusted by our political, economic, and environmental systems. I’ve written this story to put the power in the hands of the underdogs. It’s a story where geeky teenagers get to fight off an army of AI bots with pulse rifles, laser swords, and rocket launchers. This book is for anyone who’s dreamt of being Duke Nukem, Lara Croft, or Serious Sam.