Nelson Rodriguez Explores the Lives Ensnared by Obsession

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New Book “Gangsters” shows how a seemingly innocuous online game drastically changes the lives of its players

On April 9, 2011, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, 24-year old Tristan Van Der Vlis opened fire in a shopping mall using a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun. He shot and killed six people and wounded 17 others resulting in a tragedy that has been dubbed the deadliest incident in the Netherlands since the 2009 attack on the Dutch Royal family. The fact that Van Der Vlis had been playing the computer game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 ignited a fair amount of attention and speculation. Numerous controversies and studies have surrounded computer gaming and its effects on an individual’s behavior. In the novel “Gangsters”, author Nelson Rodriguez invites readers to explore the lives that become embroiled in a seemingly innocuous obsession with an online game.

The riveting story is based on true events and follows a police officer named Mark who has been sentenced to four years in state penitentiary for a crime he did not commit. After being released from prison, Mark returns to his home in New York City where he meets a childhood friend, Sam. Sam introduces Mark to an online game called “Gangsters”. Slowly, it becomes obvious that Sam’s gaming experience is becoming more intense and real and he begins to act out his in-game crimes in real life. But would he take things to an extreme level and actually kill someone? Readers will be gripped as they witness the horrifying effects of the game to its players and what they are willing to give up just to “win”.

Although presented in the wrappings of fiction, “Gangsters” is a novel that touches on a timely and controversial topic. It gives a harrowing glimpse of how far people are willing to go to satiate their addictions while delivering an intriguing reading experience.

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About the Author
Nelson Rodriguez was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He and his wife are the parents of two sons and two daughters. He has worked several jobs including general construction, roofing, iron work, painting, welding, and demolition. He lives and works in the United States. “Gangsters” is his first book.

Gangsters * by Nelson Rodriguez
It’s Not Just a Game
Publication Date: November 22, 2011
Trade Paperback; $15.99; 99 pages; 978-1-4653-6907-9
Trade Hardback; $24.99; 99 pages; 978-1-4653-6908-6
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4653-6909-3

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.


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