Saturday, 12 April 2008

will computer games take the place of books?

I've just returned from the Children's Literature Festival held in the beautiful grounds of the Norman Lindsay Gallery, Faulconbridge.

Numerous authors held workshops, story reading sessions for both children and adults. They spoke about the creative process - How they come up with ideas for books, what inspires them, whoe their favourite authors are, when did they start writing, what do they do when they get writers block.

Together with my son, I spent the whole day without technology. We browsed books. Walked through the gallery gardens. The closest we got to technology was the gas barbaque that cooked our sausages for lunch.

The interesting thing about the day was the various views that these authors had about the roll of computer games in literacy. Are computer games a type of literary text?

Although I love sitting down with a great book and would be disappointed if my children and grand children missed that experience ... I started to question whether this mode of expression will ever be 'digitised' and whether the experience of a digitised text would be as rich as that of reading a good book.

With a digitised text you would be in control of the plight of the characters. Every time you read the story there would be a different ending.

This raised another question in my mind. What is the purpose of reading a book for pleasure. Is it to get into someone elses world. To empathise with another's feelings. To experience their experiences and in the process reflect and learn more about yourself?

With a digitised text would this side of reading be missed as we become the creators of the content?

At which point is there too much content out there in the ether? Will we provide ways of determining with voices get heard above others and what is quality content?

Many questions to ponder. Some may not even be answered in our lifetime. As for me I'll leave the thinking for another day and go to bed curled up with a good book for now.


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