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3:38pm on Saturday, 21st March, 2009:

Serious Novels


Imagine it's 300 years ago and you're a bright new lecturer at Oxford University. You go to the senior professor to show him this amazing new thing you've discovered — the novel! Apparently, books can be used not only for recording religious tracts, or laws, or accountancy details, but they can be used for telling stories! You want to study this fantastic new medium.

The professor listens carefully and sagely, and asks what use novels are.

Well, they're not useful, you report, however they are fun and exciting and you want to study them.

Your professor tells you that you can't study them for their own sake. However, if they're as exciting as you say, and all the young people are reading them, then perhaps you could write an educational one? He therefore instructs you to go away and write a novel to teach addition.

Serious game researchers: this is you.

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).