Hotaru Tachibana is a girl disguised as a boy. Through strange circumstances she finds herself drawn into the world of survival games by a host, Masamune Matsuoka. The two form a team with ero-manga artist Tohru Yukimura and aim to be the be the best in Japan.
Sakamoto Ryota is an unemployed 22 year old who lives with his mother and spends his days doing nothing but playing video games. In the real world, there may be nothing special about him, but online, he's one of the world's top players of the combat game called Btooom. One day, he awakes on what appears to be a tropical island, though he has no memory of how he got there or why. While exploring the island, Ryota runs into a mysterious being who attacks him by throwing a strange looking bomb at him. Ryota then realizes that both his life is in danger, and that he has somehow become trapped in a real-life version of his favorite game. Ryota and the other "players" must now survive through the nightmare to figure out the reason why they ended up in the game in the first place.
Yura Yamato has just arrived at the high school division of Stella Women's Academy, when Sonora Kashima invites her to join a club called "C³". Sonora is the third-year student who became the new head of this club for military survival games. The other members include two second-year students (part-Japanese Karila Hatsuse and G36K-wielding Honoka Mutsu) and two other new students (Rento Kirishima whose family runs a Japanese sweets shop and the really short Yachiyo Hinata).
The players of a virtual reality MMORPG, Sword Art Online, are trapped and fighting for their very lives. After it is announced that the only way to leave the game is by beating it, Kirito - a very powerful swordsman - and his friends take on a quest to free all the minds trapped in Aincrad.