One of the author’s central ideas is that books are migrating online and ceasing to be books. Take for example wikipedia. He also writes,
Many fantasy fans, for example, have already put aside books and logged on to â€œvirtual worldsâ€ such as â€œWorld of Warcraftâ€, in which muscular heroes and heroines get together to slay dragons and such like. Science fiction may go the same way, and is arguably already being created by â€œresidentsâ€ of online worlds such as Second Life.
What makes this claim somewhat more interesting in that it is tempered with the statement that
Most stories, however, will never find a better medium than the paper-bound novel. That is because readers immersed in a storyline want above all not to be interrupted, and all online media teem with distractions (even a hyperlink is an interruption).
I don’t think all fantasy readers have set down print books though I’m sure some have. However, many people are certainly getting the same (or greater) satisfaction from games in addition to reading books. With sales of the Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 approaching 8 million units (and let’s not forget the 8.5 million World of Warcraft players), it is safe to say that more people are either replacing or supplementing their reading with gaming.
The article isn’t just about gaming. There’s an interesting bit about recapturing the oral nature of poetry though podcasting, and getting haiku text messages. Both of these things, by the way, are services that any library could offer at no real cost…