Here at Bookstr, we have a weekly series called Crazy Book Genres, where we look at subgenres in literature. This week, we’re featuring Video Game Romance, where love is often won through video games. Let’s get to it!
Video Game Romance History and Evolution:
It’s unclear when the first video game romance book was released. However, given that the first book on video games (which was a lore book) was published in 1994, it’s a fairly new genre. The first video game romance book we could find was Dragon’s Heart by Patrice Michelle, published in 2004. Most of the video game romance books found were published in the 2010s, with a few published in the 2000s and 2020s. Unsurprisingly, many of these books are written by gamers.
Until recently, it was considered uncool to play video games. This genre probably got more popular in the 2010s because of the advancement of technology. There’s also some LGBTQIA+ content, with several novels such as Gaymers series by Annabeth Albert. This is more unusual for the romance genre in general, so maybe it’s a sign that the genre as a whole is slowly expanding to be more inclusive.
Like any romance subgenre, video game romance novels have their fair share of tropes. These include, but aren’t limited, to:
- Asshole billionaires as love interests
- Rivals to lovers
- Secret identity
- Second love
Video Game Romance Recommendations
Looking for Group by Alexis Hall
Drew meets a girl named Kit in an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game called Heroes of Legend. Turns out Kit is actually a guy, but that doesn’t change Drew’s feelings, and they get together. Their relationship is great, but there’s one problem: Drew thinks that Kit spends too much time playing Heroes of Legend and playing too often with his online friends (whom Drew insists aren’t real, even though that’s how he met Kit). Kit has Drew and Drew’s friends, so Drew thinks Kit should be happy.
Level Up: A Geek Girl Rom Com by Cathy Yardley
Tessa Rodriguez desperately wants to get promoted to a video game engineer. To do so, she creates a fandom-based video game, but she only has three weeks to do it. She needs to convince her coworker and roommate, Adam, whom she isn’t close to at first, as he thought of her as “one of the guys.” But even as he starts falling for her, he’s hesitant to pursue a relationship after his last girlfriend broke up with him to pursue her ambitions. Will they level up and get together?
Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert
Conrad Stewart seems like he has everything going for him, but his life is falling apart despite his efforts. Alden Roth is brilliant and seems perfect, but he’s broken inside. These two are enemies, but they find themselves stuck together. They are on a road trip to go to a massive fan convention, and they forge an unexpected connection. Despite this, they are unwilling to let the other win the gaming tournament, and they each have their own reasons. The two won’t let their budding feelings get in the way, even if it means destroying what is happening between them.
How to Tell a Lie by Delphine Dryden
Allison Moore is a psychology professor who does her research on the Internet, specifically online games. Seth Brantley is a sexy economics professor who also does “research” in the same game. When they find out who the other is, they meet face-to-face after working in nearby buildings for years. Allison wants their affair to stay digital after a recent breakup, but she can’t deny the attraction. Can Seth get her to take her relationship offline and in the real world?
At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey
Mia Strong, a popular gaming blogger, decided to auction off her virginity online to pay for her mother’s medical bills and her medical school tuition. This makes her dreams a reality and helps her avoid debt. She has one rule: after their night together, she and the auction winner will not contact each other again. The winner is Adam Drake, the CEO of a big gaming company and a very rich man. Mia is attracted to him, but she refuses to admit it. Adam finds a loophole in Mia’s rule, and she can’t tell if he’s messing with her or if he wants to be with her.
This is certainly an interesting subgenre, and I hope at least one of these books piques your interest.
For more crazy book genres, click here.
Browse our Romance Bookstr Bookshop shelves here.