I grew up reading and watching the Harry Potter series. In 4th grade, our librarian started reading the first book to my class. I loved it and have been an avid reader and fan of all things Harry ever since. So that being said, I’m a little disappointed that Harry Potter has been deemed a “children’s” book and that something so awesome and creative is not really suitable for someone in their 20s now (even though people my age were the first to start reading the books). How are we supposed to stop enjoying something that is pretty heavy for kids, in my opinion (you know, after the first 3 or 4 books it gets pretty dark) and that has encapsulated us into this incredible story that is very hard to escape from once you’ve started.
After the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out on Blu-ray (and my Blu-ray player for some reason won’t play the special features disc so I was very upset when I discovered this mishap! Thank goodness for youtube), I was sad because I felt like all my life there was always something to anticipate, the new book, another movie, but even splitting 7 books into 8 movies (yay!) had to end and it was sort of like, now what? So when the mention of J.K. Rowling’s new website Pottermore came out, I was excited. The description seemed like it would be an extension of the books. I waited patiently for the beta testing to be over and finally discovered last week that I could sign up and start exploring all that was offered!
Pottermore screen shot
I was/am disappointed. If I were a 12 year old girl, I would be in heaven. This site is not meant for people older than those early teen years. The premise of the site is that you visit each chapter from all 7 of the books. It gives you a brief overview of the story and provides really cool artwork related to each chapter. There are things you can click which either open up an article to read (more like what I was expecting), collect in your trunk, or just do something “magical”. So you travel along with Harry’s story, but when he gets his letter to go to Hogwarts, you get one too. And when it’s time to go shopping, you get to explore Diagon Alley with your first-year supply list just like Harry’s (except you don’t have the option of buying a snowy owl like Hedwig).
Diagon Alley screen shot
You get to have a wand chosen from Ollivanders, start collecting Chocolate Frog cards once you learn about them on the Hogwarts Express, and get sorted into one of the 4 Houses by completing a personality test (I am a proud Ravenclaw now). The potions are not very exciting to create (you have to wait a ridiculously long time), neither are the spells/duels (just typing the letters as prompted). The idea is to do these tasks to gain House points and collect potion ingredients, books and other objects (the clicking to collect) to use or to give away to your online friends. It’s an online game and it’s probably really fun for kids, but I went through the entire first book (then it stops you because we don’t have access to future books yet) waiting for some content that was more of what I was expecting to be unlocked and it never materialized. The message boards at the end of each chapter are just a bunch of kids requesting friend adds and such.
So if you are like me, 20-something and like Harry Potter, I would say you can skip this site. I’m not trying to dismiss it at all: the artwork is really awesome and there is some cool content and insights to read, I’m just saying that it is definitely aimed at a younger audience.
Maybe I should just give up and accept the fact that Harry Potter is a children’s story and I may be growing a little too old for it… No, that is so sad. I think I will always love the books and movies (tons of adults older than me enjoy them anyway!!). I’ll just stick to those to relive the magic and let the children use this website to let the magic live on.
I was lucky to take a vacation to Orlando, Florida over spring break and visited Universal Islands of Adventure park which contains The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or Harry Potter World, as I like to call it). I’ll devote a post to that in the near future! I promise it’ll be much more uplifting 🙂