Review by Frank Plowright
DC’s young adult and all-ages content is still evolving in 2020, but My Video Game Ate My Homework is a step away from what’s been published to date for not relying on versions of DC superheroes in any form.
With a new virtual reality console up for grabs, Dewey Jenkins has his sights on the science experiment prize. Yes, his display is the traditional volcano, but it’s far more ambitiously constructed than the usual version. So is the VR console, opening a portal to fantasy world and that’s where Dewey, his twin sister Beatrice, and their respective best friends Ronald and Katherine enter. They’re reconstituted as people with abilities, and guided through by a flying book that modifies itself, providing more information the more the group overcome.
Dustin Hansen keeps the art bright and busy, yet simple, with big illustrations showcasing the video game dangers. Within that there could have been a greater imagination applied to facial expressions, which are all too similar, but that’s not something the intended audience are likely to complain about.
Hansen’s aim is to take younger readers through a book version of a video game where objects and talents are accumulated along the way. Even in a story aimed at young readers he sometimes takes a way too simple route of useful objects just appearing in pockets, but that’s countered by the sheer joy of the cast discovering new experiences. The messages that problems can be overcome, and understanding is a basic requirement of friendship are rather hammered home, but this feeds into something else constructed for the science project, perhaps of greater practical value.
My Video Game Ate My Homework provides good-natured fun for children, although parents will have to judge for themselves on a household by household basis if a story encouraging video game play is what they want their family reading.