The Overlap of Games and Books

Games and books have a lot in common, especially when it comes to the publishing process. There’s also a lot of cool overlap.

After all, most games have full narrative stories. And those stories are written by professional writers. Now, game writers can win a Nebula award, from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, according to GeekWire.

Games are great for storytelling. So great, in fact, Neill Blomkamp, the director of District 9, “has taken a film created with the Unity Technologies game engine and made a couple of new short films based upon it,” according to Venture Beat.

There are also games that are about literature. One example is the online Jane Austen role-playing game, which, according to The Guardian, is like World of Warcraft, but with dinner parties and gossip. Another example is the Madfire app, which according to Kill Screen, brings books to life visually. Kill Screen also mentions Tapas Media, which applies “free to play” to mobile reading, and Simogo, “a Swedish game studio that makes games that read a lot like literature.”

Like books, games are meant to let you explore new worlds. With that in mind, there’s The Uber Game, where you play an Uber driver. According to Source, “Maybe by making a game, we can spark their curiosity and prompt them to critically examine the constraints and biases of systems like Uber and other gig-economy platforms.”

Then of course, is the concept of gamification. Give people awards and points for doing certain activities, and it can encourage them to participate more. One example is Zooniverse, which crowdsources research and help with digitizing old scholarly journals (and can be pretty addicting).

And last, just for fun, is Kahoot! Kahoot! is a platform that teachers can use to engage their students. Use your mobile device and play against each other in different types of learning games (also works for adults).

What do you think about games and how they overlap with other media? Please share in the comments!

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