Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Future of Reading - Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers - Series - NYTimes.com

The Future of Reading - Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers - Series - NYTimes.com:

The Future of Reading. The Video Game Strategy
This is the second in a series of articles looking at how the Internet and other technological and social forces are changing the way people read.

Reporter Motoko Rich wrote:
"CARLSBAD, Calif.— 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.
“You can’t just make a book anymore,” said Mr. Haarsma, a former advertising consultant. Pairing a video game with a novel for young readers, he added, “brings the book into their world, as opposed to going the other way around.” "

My observations: This will be an important series to read. For parents and teachers alike the concept of marketing reading with a "game hook", is a must-have debate. Effective literacy teaching may just require these types of tools to inspire or sustain a positive approach to reading.

What do you think?

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