12 February 2012

Traveling to Harry Potter World

Intro. This is my project #3 speech in Toastmaster meeting last week. Because my audience might be not familiar at all with Harry Potter terms, I did not want to make them confused with too complicated words. I tried to explain it as simple as I could.

I want to inform you about an interactive reading experience. After hearing this speech reading this post, I hope you will be interested to try this website when it is opened to public. Pottermore.com. Have you heard about it? If you haven't, then you're definitely a Muggle :P

Well, you must have heard about Harry Potter, the legendary wizard story by JK Rowling. The first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was released in 1997, and the last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was finished last year in 2011. From 1997 to 2011, 14 amazing years for me and for other Harry Potter fans in the world who grew up with Harry Potter. Just when everybody thought Harry Potter was over, JK Rowling suddenly announced a big news about a unique online Harry Potter experience. It's called Pottermore. It is a website, with the same story but different feeling. Here are the reasons why Pottermore is unique.

First, it contains a few crucial additions that have never been told before in any Harry Potter books. For example, in the first book there is a character named Professor Quirrell. We didn't know much about Professor Quirrell background from the book. But in Pottermore, we can find out how he likes learning dark magic in young ages, and so on and so forth. JK Rowling didn't only create a story but she created a complete world of Harry Potter including the backgrounds of each character. Also, in Pottermore we can know how JK Rowling got the idea of the name Quirrell, and other unique names. You know there are so many unique names in Harry Potter. See, this is not only fascinating for Harry Potter fans, but also for book authors and writers out there who want to learn writing skills from JK Rowling.

The second reason why Pottermore is unique is... You! You create your own story. In the first book, Harry Potter got invitation letter to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. He went to Diagon Alley, a shopping place for wizards, to buy the necessary items for his school. But, instead of him... you will have your own bank account. You will go to Diagon Alley to buy all the stuff you need for your school. You can choose your own pet, do you want an owl, or a cat, or a frog. You will get your own magic wand which is unique and different for each person, depends on your character.

You will go to Hogwarts School, and you will get sorted into a house that suits your personality. There are 4 houses in Hogwars School: Gryffindor for brave and loyal people, Hufflepuff for kind and tolerance people, Ravenclaw for intelligent and creative people, and Slytherin for ambitious and cunning people. You will answer few questions based on your character and personality, and then the system will compile it and sort you into one house.

"So this is it. The Sorting Hat is about to decide which house you will be joining..."

Guess which house I was sorted into? Gryffindor? Hufflepuff? I. Am. Proud. Of. Slytherin! The evil bad house, be careful with me... Kidding, I am Slyterin but I am a nice witch :)


Once you join a house, eveytime you collect hidden items on every page, or learn new spell, you will add points to your house. Each house competes to each other to earn the highest point. Interesting, right?

The last reason why Pottermore is unique is, a social networking site where you can interact to other Pottermore users. You can become friends, share gifts, and.. this is interesting.. Wizard Duel! You can challenge your friend to do a wizard duel by using spells that you've learnt before.

OK, let me summarize it. There are 3 reasons why Pottermore is unique. First, it contains additional stories that weren't there in the books. Second, you create your own story: going shopping, going to Hogwarts School, getting sorted into a house, collecting points, etc. Third is interacting with other Harry Potter fans in the world.

Pottermore beta version was released in July last year, but only limited special people, like me :P, who can access it. It was scheduled to open to public in October last year but the beta period was extended until unspecified length of time, it should be this year. But when the time has come, you better quick sign up and enjoy by yourself the experience of living in Harry Potter world.

P.S. There is another feature in Pottermore that I didn't speak about, due to my limited time of speech. When it's opened to all, Pottermore will sell the official ebooks and audio books of Harry Potter.


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