21 October 2008

The Future of Book Entertainment?

Earlier this month, Motoko Rich filed a dispatch for the New York Times which suggested that the future of reading might be intimately linked to videogames. It started:

When PJ Haarsma wrote his first book, a science fiction novel for preteenagers, he didn’t think just about how to describe Orbis, the planetary system where the story takes place. He also thought about how it should look and feel in a video game.

The online game that Mr. Haarsma designed not only extends the fictional world of the novel, it also allows readers to play in it. At the same time, Mr. Haarsma very calculatedly gave gamers who might not otherwise pick up a book a clear incentive to read: one way that players advance is by answering questions with information from the novel.
Haarsma's books are the Softwire series from Candlewick.

Can books compete with interactive games? The "beanpole thin 12-year-old" interviewed on why he likes the Haarsma's game-novel combo compared it to another videogame (Call of Duty). He's shown in the photograph above playing yet another (Guitar Hero). As for his other favorite reading, the article didn't say.

No comments: