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I had originally read Dream Park by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes in the early 1980s, not long after it was first published.
I decided to re-read it because I was looking for material from which to construct my one-on-one role playing games I play with my thirteen-year-old grandson.
Long story short, the novel was too involved for me to mine anything useful for what I had in mind. But having only a vague recollection of the book, the re-read was thoroughly enjoyable.
Imagine a future where role playing games have evolved with such sophistication, they can be played out live in a huge, high-tech amusement park. Games are big business because Dream Park, which puts a bunch of money into them to begin with, recoups its dough with movie, book, and other game deals based on the live-action game. The players must be in relatively good shape since, although lives are never lost and most of the danger is simulated, they must still withstand the stresses of “camping out” in a (simulated) wild environment for several days amounting to hard labor. There are also personal and professional reputations on the line.