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I will definitely be taking some hits with this one. PLEASE share your thoughts in the comments below!
I wrote this in response to Andrew Sims’s Hypable Article “Opinion: Sony is ruining the ‘Harry Potter’ experience, and here’s why”
I have proved one thing to myself over the past two days; I am sick of all of you one-sided fans. One sided meaning pro-fan. You are so anti-big corporations like Warner Bros. and Sony. If you don’t want to pay that kind of money on the video game for new content, then don’t do it. And then don’t complain about it either. I know you are arguing over the content and the fact that we will have to buy four products for it, but you know that it will find a way onto the Internet. The internet has been used to spoil the series for years. Without it, we would not have been able to read the prequel and other content.
Also, this new Book of Spells , made for Wonderbook, is not “catering” to kids. The Wonderbook is a product DESIGNED for children. It is truly a groundbreaking educational reading tool where the book comes to life. The Wonderbook is used to promote reading to the digital generation. There are so many distractions: the computer, phones, iPods, etc. It takes a miracle these days to get a child away from the computer and to read a book. They are re-inventing the storybook, to quote the keynote speaker at the announcement yesterday. I think you know this, but this game is not built for adults. The whole interface isn’t meant to be used by a twenty-eight year-old searching for new content. These games that they create - the Book of Spells, Pottermore and the many more to come - are only components to the book. Kids aren’t going to go on Pottermore or read/play the Book of Spells without having read the books. They are going to use them while reading, as components. They are meant to enhance the reading experience. Our generation did not have these amazing components, but we had our imaginations, which was sometimes better. Now they are feeding the imaginations of the young readers, but in the process they are enhancing the experience. The reader can still dream and imagine.
When J.K. Rowling said, “The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”, she was, in many ways, topping us off, letting us out into the real world. It was our graduation from Harry Potter to the real world. It was the end of our childhood and it was time to grow up.
From the very beginning, fans thought that Pottermore was for the fans which she built the empire. She was, but not to the extent that readers understood or wanted to. With Pottermore, she was introducing Harry Potter to the new generation - the digital generation. If you remember correctly, J.K. Rowling said that Pottermore will be where “the DIGITAL GENERATION will be able to enjoy a safe unique online reading experience”. She did not say the fans of the Harry Potter Generation. I hate to break it to you, but Pottermore was never built in a way that us older fans could enjoy it.
Pottermore, the Book of Spells and the many more projects that they will create are for the digital generation to enjoy, not us. They know that adults probably don’t have the time to play Wizard Duel and brew potions. The program isn’t going to satisfy an adult for hours and hours, and they, the makers, know that! But for a ten year old, its the perfect activity for a rainy day, and that’s what J.K. Rowling envisioned when she put her signature on it. When we were spending our rainy days reading the books cover to cover, they are reading it chapter-by-chapter, spending time in-between to experience it on Pottermore, with Harry, Ron, and Hermione at a virtual Hogwarts. Pottermore is very exciting. Its where the magic lives on.
I’m getting tired of your complaining, which in my opinion has been absolutely pathetic, childish, and naive. You need a reality check; It’s not all about you anymore.
Pipe Dream, Binghamton University’s student newspaper, has written an article about the impact of Pottermore on reading. The article talks about the impact and power of JK Rowling herself, being the only one who can pull-off such a thing as an “interactive book website”.
It shares the different opinions of students, how some believe that they should kept the series as it is (books and films). The article also depicts Pottermore as JK Rowling’s secret weapon, built with ambition, fan support, and financial means to make it work.
One powerful (and true) statement almost says it all:
“Popular books tend to be to be turned into movies and video games,” said Elana Kurlander, an undeclared freshman. “Interactive websites are the next step.”