After relentless online checking (vaguely reminding me of "Are we there yet?" during long car rides), the little one and I finally watched JK Rowling's announcement of Pottermore that came out via the above video. (You can also read about it here). So, it IS an online thing, just like The 39 Clues. And by virtue of being online, of course its interactive. But what is it really?
Some highlights of the press release:
In the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.
At a press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Rowling revealed some key features of the website... she described how she has brought to life both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat - which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics - and the magic behind the Wand Chooser – which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000 possible combinations.
The video makes Pottermore look incredibly exciting, with its trademark HP graphics, and all the small details that will make any Potterhead swoon (Daughter: "I want to get into the Potions room!"). It reminds me somewhat of Choose your Own Adventure, a series of books I mildly got hooked on, which involved making decisions and hence, multiple possibilities for your storyline. But of course it's done all hi-tech!
But after all that hype, the hype continues. Go visit the official website to submit your e-mail address so you can become a beta tester! Then on July 31st, fans will be able to register for access to the Pottermore beta period. Only 1 million beta invites will be up for grabs. The site officially opens in October. (Good luck on getting in, I couldn't even register. The daughter did though - she registered right after the announcement - so crossing my fingers she's a beta tester. I'll let you know how it goes.)
Being the sleuth she is, the little one dug around for more info on Pottermore and was rewarded with some screenshots of the online game from MuggleNet. Of course don't expect Diagon Alley to be among the screenshots! Here are some of them:
The Main Page - seems like a map of sorts, which looks like you need to do certain things so that more of those transparent icons will accessible.
Christmas at Hogwarts - no idea. Those floating candles look cool though. I want to snap open one of those crackers!
The Hogwarts Express - moving around the train will be a cool thing.
The Chessboard Chamber - this will be interesting! I hope it really is like what they did in the movie. I want to get smashed by the Queen!
July 31st seems ages and ages away!!!