Does Turning Classics into Video Games Indoctrinate Readers?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Computer Gamer

There’s a trend going on: We’re seeing more and more classics being turned into video games. Today’s lead story describes how Nintendo is planning to release 100 French language classics for their Nintendo DS handheld game machine (something they’ve already done in Japan and the UK). Earlier this month we saw the release of a video game based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

In each instance, it kind of makes sense: Nintendo is turning the DS into a de-facto e-reader, while the creators of the Dante video game saw in Dante the possibility of a hack-and-slash adventure with hideous monsters. But this raises a number of questions:

Does hacking your way through the nine circles of Hell make you want to turn to the source material? I have my doubts.

On the other hand, Nintendo’s project does promise to indoctrinate people into reading on a screen and may very well help seed a new audience for e-books.

Let us know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter using #ppdiscuss.

BONUS: Find out what publishers can learn from online gaming.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.