Monday, May 23, 2011

Game Journalism in the Age of Digital Books

Last year I authored a number of posts (like this one) on the future of ebooks, and also did a few book reviews and comments on digital typography (like this one), as well as pointing at the excellent thinking on the subject by guys like Craig Mod and James Bridle.

Suffice it to say that digital books and digital reading is a very exciting area of development, one ripe for many years of innovation. I'm continually surprised at how many people look at the iPad - essentially the industry's second take on a digital reader after the Kindle - and are calling it done.

It took us a few thousand years to get print into decent shape. I think we should at least give this one the decade, ok folks?

Anyhow, I was encouraged to see my areas of interest overlap when seeing two different experiments in taking game journalism into the new age of digital print.

The first is The Final Hours of Portal 2, by Geoff Keighley. Keighley spent three years with behind-the-scenes access to Valve & the Portal 2 team, and delivers a fifteen thousand word ebook/application. Less a review and more a gushing fan souvenir, it's nevertheless an interesting experiment - taking the lengthy text on the game and embedding video, interactive application elements, etc, to deliver an in-depth experience any fanboy would love.

I'll post a longer review when I'm done getting through it, but regardless of any flaws, I recommend you spend the $2 to download this to get an idea of (some of) what's possible.

The second example I came across is the Kill Screen Review of Infinity Blade. Great use of interactive typography to actually convey a key element of the game - in the text layout itself, not just in the text.

Go check out both of them, as I'm sure you'll be entertained and inspired.

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