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Imagine if you will, a dark room, curtains drawn and mugs of half-finished tea everywhere, the smell has failed to be masked by febreeze and the only light source is tinged blue emanating from a laptop screen. You, my friend have stumbled on the roleplay game addict in its natural habitat so be careful not to disturb. The difference is, this kind of addiction isn’t shunned, shameful or stigmatised and there’s only one reason for that – Pottermore.
J K Rowling’s fictional world of muggles and wizards, Hogwarts and owls and Snape and wands has been brought to life in Sony’s venture to provide an online home for the wizarding world of Harry Potter. The site offers unseen material by Rowling and a chance to be sorted into Griffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, houses at the fictional School, as well as visit Diagon Alley where the wizarding shops are are based.
I’m not going to deny, when I turned 11 and didn’t receive my letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I was more than a little disappointed and since a big hairy half giant didn’t arrive on a flying motorcycle some days later saying the words “you’re a wizard <insert name here>” I gave up hope. But since April 14th, me and more friends than you’d think would admit it, have been glued to their computer screens visiting the most famous wand manufacturer ‘Olivander’s’ and being sorted like a real witch or wizard enrolling at the legendry school. I’m Ravenclaw and my wand is 11 and a half inches made of red wood and has a unicorn core, in case you’re wondering. I’ve been collecting galleons and chocolate frog cards and attending classes and yet instead of secreting away my addiction, I’m flaunting the fact I’m not in Slytherin and collecting house points with not a hint of shame!
If, you substituted all the Harry Potter jargon for say, something like World of Warcraft words, I ask, would I be more willing to claim I just slayed a dragon or bought some medieval robes (or something that world of war craft players say) as easily as I admit that I log on to Pottermore at least once a day? I think what makes joining Harry’s fictional world a little less computer geek and a little more modern chic is the fact that J K Rowling and her Potter enterprise is something of a defining feature of today’s modern culture. It’s readily acceptable that a forty-something-year-old should be knowledgeable on patronuses and The Tales of Beadle of the Bard and that you can order a butter beer of firewhisky at your local bar. Well- ok, we haven’t quite got to that stage yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me. We have grown up watching and reading Harry, Ron and Hermione defeat you know who and they in turn have taught us more than a few life lessons. You could argue it is our generation’s E.T. or Star Wars.
The fact that British acting royalty such as Alan Rickman and David Tenant have donned their wizarding attire for the films can’t have hurt much for the Potter Enterprise much either though. Pottermore, as well as indulging our need not to be muggles (non-magic folk), gives us an insight to one of the most widely read and known authors in the modern day. In a society where books and love of literature can be argued as not as popular as it once was, Rowling uniquely marries the world of Potter with the world of technology to create something truly magic. It creates a whole new reading experience that allows Potter fans to study how the story came to life and discover the real life inspiration behind the enchantment. Currently, there is only material concerning the first book,’ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone’, but in due course, material for the six other books will be released too. Ultimately though, it’s a nice to know that and that it isn’t quite over for us who are hungry for a little bit more Potter.
P.S – Hope you’re not in Slytherin!