Monday, August 15, 2011

Harry Potter and Discworld

What do Harry Potter and Discworld Have in Common?

Other than the fact that they’re both series written by talented English authors, contain wizards, and have cult followings? Nothing, except one, little thing:

They both have interactive experiences for readers.
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Okay, lately, the world has been abuzz with speculation over the highly anticipated Pottermore.  For those of you who’ve just returned to the earth’s surface, Pottermore is slated to be a unique, new experience for readers who wish to interact with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe.


Awesome, right? Of course, like most major announcements these days, the Pottermore video was quickly parodied. Author and vlogger, Kaleb Nation, created a video and website for something called Twimore—an interactive reader experience based on the Twilight universe. (Yes, he went there.)

(And yes, it's fake.)

I’m not going to comment on Kaleb’s Erupting Star excerpt, even though it heavily alluded to Rebecca Black’s Friday and made me do a spit-take.  ...Okay, I will. It was hilarious, and you should consider it your Monday distraction. *Cough* Now back to the point at hand.

Right now, there's a spotlight on this staggering, new concept of engaging readers. That's fine, but I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight an older, fan-created model of interaction. Put on your suspenders; it's about to get geeky in here.

In 1991, David Bennett founded Discworld MUD

Psst… MUD is one of those acronyms that’s gathered many interpretations over the years: Multiple User Dimension, Multiple User Dungeon, Multiple User Dialogue, Multiple User Doman, etc. It’s basically a text-based, multiplayer game. Got it? Good!

In 1992, the MUD opened to its first players. Since then, Terry Pratchett's world has come to life, welcoming users to explore familiar cities like Ankh-Morpork and Djelibeybi. It's my classic, go-to example of readers (and even non-readers) immersing themselves in an evolving, fictional world. Seriously. Within an hour, you could easily find yourself fighting peasants in Stolat, completing quests in Bes Pelargic, or facing DEATH, himself, at the bottom of the Ankh river. (Oops!)

So, what's my point?

Reader interaction—it’s not a new concept, but it’s definitely worth looking into. Here's to hoping we see more of it in the future.

Alright, guys, question time! What are some of your favorite book-based sites or games?

38 comments:

JeffO said...

Great -- so not only do I have to write my book, I have to create the interactive experience to go along with it???

Carrie Butler said...

@Jeff - Nah, but it's something to keep in the back of your mind. I don't think it will become a necessity any time soon. Who knows. Maybe if you're lucky, one of your fans will do it for you. :D

Jeff King said...

I have none... but I am very interested in "Discworld" I have not read those, I just might have to give them a look.

Carrie Butler said...

@Jeff K - You should definitely give them a look. They're full of wonderful satire. :)

http://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/discworld

Lydia K said...

Twimore was hilarious! I am not, repeating, NOT buying those bracelets.

Carrie Butler said...

@Lydia - Hah! Yes, it was very tongue-in-cheek. Oh goodness! Neither am I. ;)

Bryce Daniels said...

I have to admit that I am drawing a blank here, unless you count the James Bond games my son got me hooked on. I don't think they really adhered to the Ian Fleming experience, but I wasn't about to tell him that.

Oh. Pottermore? AWESOME.

Timothy Bowen said...

squee!! I heart discworld!!
also nice to run across a fellow writer. :)

Carrie Butler said...

@Bryce - I would definitely count that. The inspir— er, the loosely based concept had to come from somewhere! ;)

@Timothy - Yay! Welcome! :)

Andrew said...

Don't forget Max Berry's Nation States website he used to promote 'Jennifer Government'!

Carrie Butler said...

@Andrew - I had to go check it out, but you're right; that definitely fits the theme! :) Thanks for stopping by!

The Golden Eagle said...

I love books by Terry Pratchett . . . I hadn't known there was a game based on Discworld!

Carrie Butler said...

@Eagle - Really? Well, if you ever feel like geekin' out, you should check it out. You have great taste! :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

Twimore is hilarious! I so needed that laugh today. Now where I can buy those bracelets...

Carrie Butler said...

@Jennifer - Oh, I know! I'm so glad it helped as a distraction today. :D

Sally said...

Hurray something to remind me of the fact that my email from Pottermore has yet to arrive...XD
LMAO at that Twimore vid- "follow the sparkles" hahahaha!

I actually didn't know about there being more interactive sites based on books; it's something I'd thought about, but never actually knew existed! I normally hate the way technology has affected reading and books in general (I despise e-books...Whatever happened to holding a good old book without the need to recharge a battery?) but this is actually just incredibly awesome! (...As if I need more ways to get lost in imaginary worlds, but I'm not complaining!)

As I didn't even know about these interactive sites before, I can't say which is my favorite xD But I will say that I am on the edge of my seat waiting to be able to finally access Pottermore!

Leah said...

That parody was A+, haha!

Also, Discworld makes my heart go pitter-patter. ♥

Laila Knight said...

I haven't visited that Harry Potter site yet. I'm actually scared of all the interactive stuff. It's addicting like a videogame and will take up a lot of my time. I was once addicted to Miracle Warriors...Sega game...role playing is such a weakness. I see you're posting on Tuesdays...darn it, with this three day posting thing I'm getting everywhere late. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

That second video was hilarious!!!

Carrie Butler said...

@Sally - Oopsie! Shh, don't think about Pottermore. I'm sure your invitation just got, er, lost. Yes, that's it. It got lost! <.<

Really? Well, I'm glad to have introduced you to it! :)

@Leah - Hah! Yes, it was awesome. Mine too! :D

@Laila - You know, I never considered the addictive quality of these sites. Gosh, and we're all writers and readers. We're at high risk! :O

Yeah, I've been posting on Mondays or Tuesdays lately. I try to start the week with a blog post. Actually, I've been considering two a week, but I'm waiting until I get a firm hold on my revisions. Hah! Don't worry about getting here late. I'll keep the light on. ;)

@Donna - I thought so too! :)

Linda said...

Erupting Star is hilarious :P Thanks for the laugh!

Clarissa Draper said...

I think you're right and the more time goes by, we're going to have to think outside the box on how to make us more friendly to the younger generations.

Kelley said...

Twimore was epically hilarious, and I feel more awesome for having watched it. Thank you much :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Um... is it geeky to say that I don't care too much about interactive book sites? My kids though, LOVE them. They especially loved the Deltora Quest website. Me? I just totally loved the books. :)

Carrie Butler said...

@Linda - You're very welcome! I couldn't keep it to myself. :D

@Clarissa - Absolutely. Ours isn't a profession that stands still for anyone. :) Thanks for stopping by!

@Kelley - Hah! I'm glad to share it! :)

@Peggy - Cute little demographic examples, hm? MG/YA writers, take note! ;)

DWei said...

Not really interested in either of those "more"s. I kind of doubt their potential for success as well.

Carrie Butler said...

@DWei - Well, the second "more" is a parody, but I see your point. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Thanks for commenting! :)

fpotd said...

Good post!

Funny Picture of the Day

Carrie Butler said...

@fpotd - Thank you! :)

Lynda R Young said...

We will definitely see more of this type of thing in the future. Interaction is so accessible and easy these days and people are looking for it.

Angela Ackerman said...

I think is the natural evolution in the digital age. In the world on gaming, aps, and social media, everything needs to adapt. I imagine more and more enhanced content will be seen from books, especially the biggies. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Carrie Butler said...

@Lynda - Too true! :)

@Angela - Absolutely! It's best to keep on top of it. :)

Rachel Morgan said...

That is hilarious! I had no idea the Pottermore video had been parodied. Personally, I'm REALLY looking forward to using Pottermore. From the screenshots I've seen on Publisher's Weekly (for those who got to try out the beta version... lucky bums...) it looks like a lot of fun.

Carrie Butler said...

@Rachel - It does seem like a lot of fun! I'm not fanatic about Harry Potter, but I love the direction it's taken the industry. Oh, and yes, the parody was hilarious! :) Thanks for commenting!

Brooke R. Busse said...

I love Kaleb Nation, though more for his personality than his books. He's actually answered some of my questions during his live shows.

Carrie Butler said...

@Brooke - That's awesome! I haven't been following him very long, but he seems really cool. :D Thanks for stopping by!

Becca Puglisi said...

That was awesome! The music was even the same as in the Pottermore bit. Love it!

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

Carrie Butler said...

@Becca - Thanks for commenting! Oh, I know. It was hilarious! :D