Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure : Civil War

     Does anyone remember these books?  In my opinion they were the original portable handheld games of generation X.  The stories in these books were mostly sci-fi, or fantasy related but they got young readers motivated to read and re-read a book to try and play out all the possible outcomes depending on the choices made in the stories.  I had not seen any books like these since I was a kid, probably because they are made for young readers but I always thought it was a good way to get young people to read since it got me reading.

I'm one path in, looking forward to the other two.


    Recently, I took a trip to Washington D.C. and in seeing all the sights to see there I came upon a book in the Fords Theater Gift shop titled The Civil War: An Interactive Adventure.  It's a history book that uses certain battles from the war as plot points for the story and gives the reader choices like the old school choose your own adventure books from when I was kid.  It's targeting the same demographic as  the books I read but this is giving some kids a little history with their interactive reading experience.  Feeling nostalgic I bought a copy and enjoyed playing the path as union solider during the battle of Gettysburg, it includes maps too so you know where the character you're making choices for is being placed during the battle.  Having read enough about the war I made enough successful choices to make it to a winning ending in the book.  It was interesting enough that I am going to try and read the 20 endings the cover says are in in the book.  I know these days giving a kid a book as a gift may seem like a bad gift but I never disliked receiving books when I was kid, and maybe you could even inspire a kid to read more by giving him something like this.
    The books are from a series called "You Choose" books, I am going to look into them and see if they are the new guys making books like these.  I love technology and video games as much as anybody else and I know what is written here usually pertains to film, TV, and video games but as I said this pre-dates any game boy or DS I ever had.  I think if you present reading to any kid in a fun way, let them read something they are interested in they may be better for it in the long run.