E3 2012: What to Think of Wonderbook

Wonderbook is an opportunity to give the new generation of nonreaders a chance to understand the true magic behind reading in ways we only imagined at their age. The Wonderbook hardware allows the reader to interact with the screen through a combination between Sony Move and Eye. This three stage interaction of sight, sound, and movement is not simply an attempt at wowing the younger audience. It should excite older gamers by showing them a new kind of game.

In Book of Spells, the first of many slated Wonderbook games, Rowling delivers original material for the storytelling and interaction which brings the tale to life. Rowling has spent an awfully large amount of hours preparing literature for the game. Reports state she even logged a decent amount of time behind above the tome, testing the game to ensure it meets her standards of storytelling.

Already some people are making remarks about how this is just another cash cow for Rowling and Sony, using the allure of Harry Potter to entice children worldwide. Wonderbook could be just another gimmick, but if done correctly should be an opportunity to do just what Rowling boasts: revolutionize modern storytelling.

Book of Spells is definitely gimmicky. But why not razzle-dazzle youngsters into a hardware component that game developers can really use to educate, inspire, and entertain? What if there was a Webster’s software that shows visual and interactive examples for dictionary definitions? Imagine how entertaining it would be to be physically and verbally interactive with the payoff of visually appealing in-game sequences or story progression. I can’t think of a child that wouldn’t get 100% on every spelling test for the rest of history. Then there are the adult gamers. What if, for fun, publishing companies signed contracts with Sony to establish visual representations of certain scenes from various best-selling books. Purchase the book and get the Wonderbook software. Don’t quite understand the picture the author was trying to convey? Ask Wonderbook for an artist rendering.

Wonderbook is another way to make reading appealing. For everyone, yes, but it’s especially important for children. So many are quick to forget the beginnings of the Kojimas, Miyamotos, and Yasuharas were without video games. These great video game minds weren’t necessarily inspired by other video games. There was also art, movies, and literature that fueled their innovation. If Wonderbook allows video games to reciprocate an interest in reading, everyone should be on board.