Pottermore – When Words Meet Digital Reality

In the past I’ve complained that technology  has done little to change the way authors interact with their readers (and vice versa), so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Pottermore, which is J.K. Rowling + Sony’s way of really milking the Harry Potter series. (To be fair it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of for-profit stuff, except for a link to the store. So maybe not?)

Anyway, it’s like a super big pile of excerpts from the stories with little author extras, illustrations, minimal interactivity (as a video gamer, quite frankly the interactive bits are atrocious, but it is in beta right now). I wasn’t particularly interested so I didn’t do very much, but there’s video commentary and some extra writing bits, not to mention more immersion into the ‘world’ with descriptions and pictures of key places that you can zoom into a little bit. Considering that there’s already movies, it’s a little weird, but on the other hand the pacing is in your control. It even recommends going through the site with the books open. (Although I dunno, maybe it’s different if you’ve actually seen all the movies.)

Fun for the younger kids, and of course you get to BE SORTED AND PICK A WAND so anyone who grew up when Quizilla was big (cough, me, cough) will be mildly amused by that bit.

It’s not a bad idea, though, if you have the resources for it. Flash games to go with your book, and also a way of letting a reader ‘be’ in the universe and use it as a social media hub.




2 thoughts on “Pottermore – When Words Meet Digital Reality

  1. I’m not sure about the interactivity. The gains from effort given are smaller than say generating an encyclopedia of miscellaneous characters, places, and events like Tolkien did with his appendices and ancillary writers did with the Star Wars franchise.

    But a franchise like Potter would easily be a candidate for a much larger project, such as an MMO due to the sheer amount of fans willing to pay to be immersed in the world beyond the books.

    • Well, Star Wars is a full franchise of games, books, etc. Point taken though, it’s a lot more effective if you have that extensive of a world to build and delve into.

      Interactive comics, now that’s an easier option. Well, assuming you know someone who doesn’t hate drawing in Flash.

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