Day Z Standalone is not simply a video game that millions of people enjoy to play, but it is single handily responsible for increasing literary in youth. How have they done it? Well this title has spawned over twenty five million guides, tutorials and walk-through’s. These are not being penned by professional writers, but the very kids that are playing them.
Day Z comes with minimal instructions on how the play the game. There is no tutorials or newbie guides that transpire, before you are thrust into the online world. You simply start in a random location on the map and are expected to learn by doing. How do you open a door or pickup a weapon or say hello to a fellow player? You have no idea unless you browse the command list or Google the question.
Countless communities have risen to the challenge of educating the players on the various game play elements. Internet wide, there is currently over 323,000,000 articles written by youth. Many of them are reading above their current age level. Constance Steinkuehler, a games researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, asked middle and high school students who were struggling readers to choose a game topic they were interested in, and then she picked texts from game sites for them to read—some as difficult as first-year-college language. The kids devoured them with no help and nearly perfect accuracy.
According to a recent article in Wired Magazine, Hannah Gerber, a literacy researcher at Sam Houston State University monitored several 10th-grade students at school and at home and saw that they read only 10 minutes a day in English class—but an astonishing 70 minutes at home as they boned up on games.
School libraries are starting to realize that game guides written by major publishers are being devoured at record levels. Scholastic recently released three new Minecraft illustrated books that librarians report they can't keep on the shelves.
The books, aimed at kids in Grades 3 through 7, have already sold more than 6 million copies combined since their release in November. Librarians noticed that kids were again were reading far above their level. The books not only appeal and fascinate children, they encourage kids to become better readers so they can learn more tricks to get ahead in Minecraft.
Currently, DayZ encourages nothing; it’s absolute freedom, absolutely. Two million active players are currently participating in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, so you could speculate there is some sort of allure. In the end, more kids are reading because of games like this and reading above their age level. That certainly is a good thing.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Trajectory started in 2011 and their core business model is assisting publishers in converting their comics and graphic novels to the digital arena. They also formulated their own fledgling distribution network and marketed the content overseas, where many people were curious about the west. In order to gain more traction in the industry the company signed agreements with Diamond Distributors earlier this year, to basically provide conversion services for their entire list of contacts. This relationship has paid off, as Trajectory just announced a new movement to bring digital comics and graphic novels to libraries.
At the New York Comic Con 2014, Trajectory announced that it has signed an agreement with Ingram Content Group and Follett School Solutions. Over 10,000 comics and graphic novels will now be available for schools and libraries to purchase through their existing relationship with either Ingram or Follett.
Diamond Comic Distributors v-p of purchasing John Wurzer said, "Schools and libraries can be incubators for the future appreciation of comic books and graphic novels and we are happy to be working with Trajectory to foster that."
Kelly Gallagher, v-p content acquisition, Ingram Content Group, said, "Comic and graphic novel content is in demand by readers." He added that "Ingram is excited about our collaborative work with Trajectory to be providing comics and graphic novel content to the library market through our leading MyiLibrary e-book platform."
Major publishers are notoriously fickle about embracing new trends and give sloths a run for their money. We have seen this transpire with eBook subscription services and getting involved in digital libraries. The Science fiction community has been one of the most agile, and many companies such as TOR have completely embraced the DRM-Free mentality. Saga, a division of Simon and Schuster has just announced they are also going DRM-Free.
Saga is being billed as an all-inclusive fantasy and science fiction imprint publishing great books across the spectrum of genre, from fantasy to science fiction, commercial to literary, speculative fiction to slipstream, urban fantasy to supernatural suspense.
Saga’s first list will be released next spring with four titles by Ken Liu, Genevieve Valentine, Lee Kelly, and Zachary Brown. The eBooks will be available at all major e-book retailers and simonandschuster.com.
This is a good move for S&S to take a gambit with a new imprint that actually hasn’t sold any books yet. I think the most important aspect of this story is that the publisher is setting up an internal infrastructure to monitor the ramifications of going DRM-Free and how this will effect eBook piracy. Will readers embrace Saga just because its DRM-Free? Will the media give them kudos and endless free publicity like they did TOR? This all remains to be seen.