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Parents often chastise their kids for spending too many hours indoors, where the youngsters are glued to couches while playing video games as if their lives depended on beating every Halo level before bedtime. Though it's not exactly an outdoor-promoting alternative, novelist Ernest Cline's tremendously enjoyable Ready Player One could at least get hardcore gamers to put down the controllers and embrace the written word.

Set in a virtual reality heavily inspired by classic fanboy properties like Back to the Future and Blade Runner, Cline's extremely well-received novel follows a chubby, console-obsessed 18-year-old protagonist trying to play the hero in a faux society that understands him more than his real one. Who knows, Ready Player One's Wade Watts might just become your beloved Xbox fiend's new hero.