I’m a “Harry Potter” fan. My sisters and my step-mother got me started on it around the time that book #3 came out, and I was hooked. I’ve read all of the books (several times), I’ve seen all the movies, I’ve played several of the games. One day, in the not too distant future, I will go and visit “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios in Florida. (I will probably act like I’m 11.) I look forward to the day, when they’re older and won’t be frightened by it, that I will get to read the stories to my boys. I’ve wistfully imagined what it would be like to ride the Hogwarts Express and go to school at Hogwarts myself (yes, I do realize that I’m a grown up, but a girl can dream).
The series has been completed, all the books have been turned into movies, and everything is out on DVD. That’s it — Harry Potter’s story is over. Or not. Last summer, J. K. Rowling created a new online Harry Potter “world” called Pottermore, complete with additional information that was in her head but never made it into the books. They opened up Beta testing in August — in order to get a Beta account you had to check the website obsessively all day until the “question of the day” appeared, and then be enough of a nerd to know the answer and fast enough to submit it before they closed it (about 10 minutes after it was opened). If you did all that, you could get a Beta testing account.
Ok, so maybe I did that.
I did successfully get an account, but then I had to wait months (literally) to get my “welcome email” so that I could actually log on (they phased access to the site so as to not overwhelm it, which I understand). By the time all that came around, I’d gotten wrapped up in life as usual and it took me a while to actually log in and try it. But recently, while Dan was home over the holidays, I actually managed to check it out.
Basically, you follow along with the story, just as it happens in the books, but there are things to collect and find, potions to brew, duels to fight, and, of course, you get to be “chosen” by a wand and sorted into a house (which is really what I was looking forward to). It’s not entirely a game, but it has game elements to it — mostly, though, it’s stuff to read. Everything is supportive of the book versions of the stories — a lot of it just reminds you of things that happened, but then there is additional information, written by Rowling herself: detailed character back stories, reasons behind names of people and places, storylines that were never explored. It’s so fun to get to see her thoughts and understand some of her reasoning. I really enjoyed all of it.
So far, they’ve only made the material available that corresponds to the first book, so as of last week, I’ve run out of stuff to “do” until Pottermore is out of Beta testing . . . unless I decide to go back and read it all again . . . (for the third time).