Just when we thought we’d seen the last of Harry Potter, author J. K. Rowling has decided to collaborate with Sony in a new video game called Book of Spells which is based on the magick and sorcery found in her best-selling novels.
The Daily Mail is reporting that the new game is intended to take on Microsoft’s Xbox in the computer gaming wars. It involves an electronic book and a Sony Move controller with a wand attachment. A camera on top of the TV captures movements and brings the book to life on screen. When players cast spells, pages from the book come alive with dragons and even fire appearing out of the book as players progress, learning spells as they go.
“This is the closest a Muggle can come to a real spellbook,” said Rowling, who created the content for the game which takes players through wizard training at Hogwarts.
“I’ve loved working with Sony’s creative team to bring my spells, and some of the history behind them, to life. This is an extraordinary device that offers a reading experience like no other.”
The “history behind” the curses is what has concerned parents and experts for years over the Potter series. Rowling has admitted that she engaged in extensive research into mythology, folklore, and occult beliefs in order to provide material for her books.
In one interview, when asked where her ideas for the wizard classes and spells came from, she said: “Most of the spells are invented, but some of them have a basis in what people used to believe worked. We owe a lot of our scientific knowledge to the alchemists!”
For instance, the Avada Kedavra or killing curse comes from an ancient spell in Aramaic which means “let the thing be destroyed.”
The arithmancy which is taught in the third year at Hogwarts is based on a method of fortune-telling known as numerology.
The fact that the spells in Potter books are often used to bring about “good” is even more problematic, according to Michael O’Brien, author of Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture.
“If magic is presented as a good, or as morally neutral, is there not an increased likelihood that when a young person encounters opportunities to explore the world of real magic he will be less able to resist its attractions?” he asks.
“Of course children are not so naive as to think they can have Harry’s powers and adventures: they know full well the story is make-believe. But on the subconscious level they have absorbed it as experience, and this experience tells them that the mysterious forbidden is highly rewarding.”
The new video game will add another dimension to the “experience” of spell casting, making it even more appealing to young minds.
A review of the game appearing on Gaming Examiner sums up the problems inherent in a children’s game based on witchcraft.
“Book of Spells provides students with a safe environment in which to read, discover, learn and practice spells they already know and love, such as Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa and Expelliarmus, as well as discover mischievous notes and spells scribbled into the margins by previous Hogwarts students, and humorous anecdotal facts relating to the spells. J.K. Rowling has written a conundrum that leads you through the experience, providing insight into the values a witch or wizard has to learn, and inviting you to journey through the book to unlock new content, rewarding successful students along the way.”
The new game was announced at the E3 games conference in Los Angeles and is expected to go on sale this Christmas.
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Click here to get your copy of Michael O’Brien’s book, Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture. On this EWTN show, Michael O’Brien explains the dangers inherent in occult fiction such as the Harry Potter series.