Monday, September 8, 2014

Interactive Storytelling

I enjoy being more than just an observer when it comes to reading. I stumbled across DestinyQuest: The Legion of Shadow. It's like an RPG in book form! I didn't know anything like this existed.

The cover looks like a video game!

I've wanted to play games like Dungeons and Dragons, but my friends aren't as nerdy as I am. I've been reluctant to play MMOs because I foresee getting real addicted to them. The Legion of Shadow gave me another option.

It's a choose-your-own-adventure book only more interactive. You don't read this book linearly. I was sitting on the train having a good time flipping back and forth through the page as I started my adventure. It has cool glossing maps/images at the center.
You need dice to go through this book. Since I play all my games on some device, I don't have anything that has dice. I have to buy some. Until then, this gamebook is on hold. I really want to read it though.

I've also gotten into this app series called Shall We Date-- my guilty pleasure. They're like romance novels with pictures. At the beginning of the story, you select your love interest. Throughout the story, you chose how to respond to certain situations. Whether or not you have a happy ending depends on how you respond. It's a bit cheesy. The writing is terrible. They try to force you to do in-app purchases-I refuse. Despite that, the apps are so much fun (and addictive) and the visuals are gorgeous.
The Shall We Date apps have gotten millions of downloads and a lot of raving reviews. The Legion of Shadow however, came out in 2012 and it only has 1 review and 16 ratings on Goodreads. They're positive, but that's beside the point. It has 21 reviews on Amazon. 19 of them are 5 stars.

The DestinyQuest series has two other books. The third one was released this month. It has no reviews on Goodreads, which means either the publisher didn't ask for advance reviews or they asked and didn't get any. Both of which are tragic. This series was ordinarily published in the UK. I wonder if gamebooks are more popular over there.

I'd like to see more books like this. I'd like to see the concept of a book continue to evolve to encompass different types of storytelling. It would be interesting--the day when the linear story is no longer the default. It becomes one option among several equally popular modes of storytelling.
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