The "Game of Books" Seeks to Incentivize Young Readers


Back when BookLamp launched in August 2011, we called it “a Pandora for books.”

BookLamp is a publishing technology company that developed something called the Book Genome Project, which uses the “DNA of language” to analyze and compare books based on their thematic makeup, character types, and language elements.

The idea is to build out a book discovery engine over time, and the Pandora analogy is that BookLamp will get smarter about recommending books to you the more you use it.

Now the company has come up with a new initiative called the Game of Books, a national gamification project that seeks to promote reading among kids and young adults.

“The Game of Books takes lessons from video games to incentivize reading and do it in fun ways,” says BookLamp's founder and CEO, Aaron Stanton. “It provides additional rewards for something readers are already doing and adds in the social aspect as well.”

The project is currently seeking to raise over $100,000 on Kickstarter to distribute gaming kits to schools and libraries across the U.S.

Its projected launch date, after getting feedback from educators and librarians, is next summer.

Stanton lists four key aspects of the game:

•    Readers earn points and badges for what they've read and are reading.
•    It promotes reading with friends, and enables readers to compare their scores on Facebook.
•    It plays well with existing summer reading programs in libraries to promote young adult reading.
•    It will be designed to be easily integrated with existing reading sites, like Goodreads or LibraryThing.  

“We want to empower readers where they already read,” says Stanton.

And although the game is primarily focused on young readers, Stanton notes that “the average gamer is probably in his or her 30s nowadays,” so it should appeal to a broader age range as well.

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