Monday, April 8, 2013

April A to Z - G is for Gamebooks.org


Demian Katz is the creator and owner of the encyclopedic gamebook website www.gamebooks.org which has details and reviews on every work that could be called a gamebook.  I interviewed Demian last year and he has kindly provided me with an update on his activities.

And here it is...

The most exciting gamebook-related development in my life since April, 2012 is the donation of my 2,000+ volume gamebook collection to the University of California Santa Barbara.  By sending my collection to a university, I ensure that it will be better preserved than it could be in my own home and that it is now available for others to study.  I also hope that by making this large donation, I have seeded a collection that can continue to grow over the years -- the next step is to begin approaching gamebook authors and publishers to see if any archival materials can be added.
Outside of gamebooks, I have taken my obsession with series fiction and bibliography to a different century and begun studying dime novels, one of the leading forms of American popular entertainment from approximately 1860-1915.  The parallels with gamebooks are interesting, and the stories remain surprisingly entertaining.  Since these books are so old, the possibilities for digitization and adaptation are limitless -- I'm currently working with a colleague on a "posthumous collaboration" to turn a particularly memorable example of the form into an interactive adventure.  Stay tuned for more details -- though this is going to take a while!
As for the future of gamebooks, I'm trying to prove that it can be found in the past -- but that's just one thread of many, and as I mentioned last year, the digital revolution still seems to be going strong.

Visit Demian's website at www.gamebooks.org.  I don't want to sound like I'm making an understatement but it is literally the most comprehensive webiste on gamebooks that has ever existed.

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3 comments:

  1. Your dime novel project sounds fascinating. I'd love to read what you unearth.

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  2. Demian is so great! He has been super supportive with our gamebook, and gave us a really comprehensive review. And yeah, gamebooks.org is pretty amazing. Looking forward to the dimebook project :)

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  3. Oh, good old Gamebook.org... I've spent way too much time spitting through that website, just reading through the reviews and the information.

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