by Kari Dragoo
With November already underway, the online Harry Potter experience, Pottermore, is on the verge of being open to the public.
In her official introduction of the site, J. K. Rowling calls it a “safe, unique online reading experience built around the Harry Potter books.” The site will also be the only provider for Harry Potter e-books to be used on e-readers such as Kindle, Nook and others.
But what features can online users expect from the site? The website incorporates the stories of Harry Potter with interactive entertainment giving users the chance to become Hogwarts students. “Students” will get to enjoy being sorted into houses, practicing spells with wands chosen specifically for them at Ollivanders, and make potions. All of these activities help to earn house cup points. Users can make friends and challenge them to wizard duels, collect chocolate frog cards, and enjoy, in an abridged format, the story of Harry Potter.
As the website is only in its beta stage, some glitches are still unresolved.
“The potions lab lags really bad,” said former MCC student Madison Devor. “Every time I try to make a potion my computer lags so bad that I end up melting my cauldron. It’s really frustrating.”
Other disappointments include the lack of material, since in the beta stages, only book one is available. These things are likely to be repaired before the final version is released.
Despite some downsides, the website does offer some interesting features. For every chapter, extra excerpts are featured that are not included in the books. These excerpts include things from extra background on characters to information that, while not important to the central plot, lend a deeper understanding to the book as a whole.
So while Potter fans looking for an interactive role-playing online game will be disappointed, those who are looking to enjoy the book in new ways will be satisfied.