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Virtual worlds 'can enhance children's books'

29th September 2011

Virtual worlds and computer games based on books can help to enhance the learning experience for children, rather than having a detrimental effect, according to the developer of a new website based on the Horrible Histories series.

Graeme Harvey, founder of Huzutech, will today tell the Bookseller Children's Conference that publishers need to branch out into the realms of social gaming to stimulate young readers' imaginations.

His organisation recently developed a game based around Terry Deary's hugely popular series, which brings the characters to life and allows players to step through time and follow the key points in the books.

Mr Harvey told media marketing website The Drum that this approach will increase in prominence in the coming months and years – similar to how J. K. Rowling's new Pottermore website will accompany the Harry Potter novels by providing extra content and virtual quests.

'Digital technologies can add a new and refreshing dimension to the industry, dusting off favourite titles and breathing new life into the characters and concepts that children love so much,' he claimed.

Mr Harvey added that publishers also stand to benefit, as the virtual worlds introduce their titles to young audiences while enabling them to explore the 'full marketing and commercial potential' of the books.

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