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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harry Potter thoughts

I just got back from the midnight sale. No, I haven't finished the book yet. I'm going to leave it untouched until after getting a good night's sleep.

I love the series and love the universe. I just wish there was more to it! Back when the first book became a hit and movie rights were announced, I saw the announcement that Hasbro was getting toy rights. Also included in that announcement was the development of card game and role-playing game properties for Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast subsidiary.

If you follow the hobby game industry, you might remember seeing the Harry Potter trading card game, but no role-playing game. Rumor has it that Joanne K. Rowling did not like the idea of a game in which other people could make decisions. "You mean someone could write something where Harry dies?" (I hope she hasn't seen what people do in fanfiction.)

So, there was no role-playing game, no system that could have attracted new fans to the hobby. And I was ready to write a scenario or two in the universe, showing what adventures all the other kids were having.

And with her desire for control over the property, you don't see the expanded universe. Go to a book store, and you'll find countless novels in the Star Wars and Star Trek universes. The rich background of these series are open to the fertile minds of many creative writers, and no one is worried about the fate of the original properties. If Ms. Rowling had a different perspective, there could be more books. How about books told from the perspective of the oft-forgotten Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff houses? Or books set in the two other European schools mentioned in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? Or that upstart American magic school established in the late 1600's in Massachusetts? What about chronicling the lives of professional Quidditch players or workers in various magical fields?

Sadly, we may very well be left with seven good novels and nothing else to remember Ms. Rowling's fantastic vision.

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