Keeping up with the times: Video Game Novels

Yesterday the New York Times published a very interesting article by Motoko Rich titled, “Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers.” The article notes:

“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.”

Mr. Haarsma is not the only one using video games to spark an interest in books. Increasingly, authors, teachers, librarians and publishers are embracing this fast-paced, image-laden world in the hope that the games will draw children to reading.

Spurred by arguments that video games also may teach a kind of digital literacy that is becoming as important as proficiency in print, libraries are hosting gaming tournaments, while schools are exploring how to incorporate video games in the classroom…

While the debate is still up in the air as to whether playing video games really helps children learn how to read, as aforementioned, advocates state that video games are excellent environments for helping children and teens develop digital literacy skills. In addition, games often inspire students to read mediums like blogs and user manuals when they might not otherwise be motivated to read at all.

So, what does a novel+video game combo look like anyway? Take a look at the video clip below as author Christopher Paolini discusses Vroengard Academy–a game that was created to go along with his book series the Inheritance Cycle. If you’re intrigued, also take a look at Alagaësia Adventureanother online FREE game that was created for the Inheritance Cycle book series!

Have fun exploring!


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1 Response to “Keeping up with the times: Video Game Novels”

  1. 1 KTankersley November 27, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Loved the video as well as Chris’ new book – the third in his Eragon series! We have to use whatever tools we can to motivate our students to read more. This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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