YA novel about teens taking part in a simulation of their own futures
June 11, 2021 4:47 PM   Subscribe

About ten years ago I read a book about teens taking part in some sort of study in which researchers came and asked them a ton of questions, and then they got to take part in a virtual reality simulation of their own futures (a reunion party 10 years later I believe). The twist is they realize that one of their group isn't there and find out that he's dead in the simulated future--I think because the computer was going to kill him. They have to figure out how to save him.

One detail I remember quite clearly is that the main character is confused because she is a fashion designer in the simulated future--she's a nerdy science type with no interest in fashion. She eventually realizes that the researcher heard "I'm really interested in genes" as "I'm really interested in jeans."

For the longest time I thought this book was titled The Game and was saved to my Goodreads. But when I looked, I'd saved The Game by Diana Wynne Jones, which is completely different and not something I've read. So the title might be The Game and I saved the wrong one, or it might not be The Game at all. I would have read it in 2011 or earlier. I picked it up from the Young Adult section at the library (tried searching said library for books titled The Game, no dice). Searching LibraryThing, WorldCat, etc. isn't working because despite quotation marks if I search for "the game" as the title, it ignores "the" and gives me anything with "game" in the title. And it might not be called that, anyway.

Any ideas?
posted by brook horse to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is it this one?
posted by gideonfrog at 4:55 PM on June 11, 2021

I was going to call out that same one gideonfrog posted - it was called "Invitation to the Game" in its first release, and I was going to mention it as something you might be confusing it with but definitely not the same thing - that is teens in a Virtual Reality situation, but none of the other stuff you mention happens.
posted by brainmouse at 4:58 PM on June 11, 2021

Response by poster: Yeah, this was definitely set in the present, the characters are just normal high school students invited to participate in this study. There is no competition or fight for survival aspect (which is what most of the results for "simulated future teenagers" gets me). I think at the time it was written virtual reality wasn't a big thing at all and it may not have been even described as virtual reality, just "a simulation."
posted by brook horse at 5:01 PM on June 11, 2021

Response by poster: Just found it: it was called The Night Room by E. M. Goldman. Found it by going to WorldCat, keyword simulation, and the filtering down to fiction > juvenile. Misremembered the gender of the dead person but otherwise all seems to track! No idea how I got it confused with The Game.
posted by brook horse at 5:06 PM on June 11, 2021 [10 favorites]

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