Opinion: Wondering Why the Wonderbook Exists

Seung Lee July 3, 2012 0
Opinion: Wondering Why the Wonderbook Exists

For those who are unaware, Sony is currently working on a new project called Wonderbook: Book of Spells for the PS3. This interactive literature won’t just feature text however. There’s also going to be duels with wands, spells to cast, and more. This all sounds very familiar especially when you consider the fact that J.K. Rowling (the famous author behind Harry Potter) is going to be behind this. Well, Wonderbook: Book of Spells will be taking place in the world of Harry Potter in case you’re a ginormous fan of the series and are jonesing for a fix of magical adventures.

If you don’t particularly enjoy Harry Potter, that’s fine because Wonderbook will have a bunch of other fine selections to choose from. But one has to wonder why Sony can’t just make simple video games with the PlayStation Move as a peripheral. It’s not like video games can’t express ideas as well as the Wonderbook. Why would anyone want a book requiring both the PlayStation Eye and Move to make virtual stuff pop out of its pages? If I wanted to please my eyes with amazing graphics and effects, I could just watch a movie. If I wanted to stimulate my brain by reading text, I could just buy a couple of books down at my local Barnes & Noble for far less than what the Wonderbook is asking. Lastly, if I wanted to play a game, I could play the thousands available that are far more exciting than Wonderbook.

I understand that Sony wants to make reading more interesting but Wonderbook is the wrong way to go about it. Really, we have pop-up books, visual novels, graphic novels, audio books, movie adaptations of books, and video game adaptations of books. I think reading can be exhilarating enough already for the average person. For the fine people over at Sony, I recommend sticking to video games, televisions, phones, cameras, basically anything besides books.

I will say however that there is a possibility that the Wonderbook could be picked up by schools if it had classic books such as Moby Dick, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It’s a very slim chance but if Dance Dance Revolution did it then I don’t see why Wonderbook can’t either. But again, why would teachers want to go through the process of changing up their classrooms to use the Wonderbook when they could just pop in a DVD or tape and be done with it?



Now if only textbooks could be this exciting!


Let’s be honest, Sony has made a lot of mistakes in the past (announcing AT&T as the carrier for the Vita before its release and making the launch PS3 $599 USD) and Wonderbook will probably be added to the list. It’s expensive and ultimately pointless, a gimmick. It’s an invention that the world can certainly do without. Maybe Kaz Hirai will see this and manage to convince the people working on the Wonderbook to stop what they’re doing and go work on something else like The Legend of Dragoon 2. That’d be nice.

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