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The Needs of the Many

I saw this object on the shelf at my local Borders and it melted my mind. But as intriguing as a "Star Trek" themed online book would be, this product that claimed to be a Star Trek online book appeared to be nothing more than an ordinary ink-on-woodpulp paperback.

There was no USB port embedded in the spine. The pages weren't updated through a wireless interface. This purportedly online book didn't even have a touchscreen.

As it turned out, The Needs of the Many wasn't the "Star Trek" themed online book I'd expected. It was instead a "Star Trek Online" themed book--a traditional book based on an online video game based on a television/movie franchise. What a way to milk a story universe!

So okay, false alarm. This book turned out to be a sad little novelization of something online that exists entirely outside of the book's pages. But I'd like to see a product that starts as an ordinary storybook which then expands, updates, and customizes itself through a network connection. It wouldn't be the digitized version of a traditional book or a video game in text-adventure format--it would be a self-contained product capable of evolving into new configurations based on the needs and preferences of each reader.

Now that what would really fit The Needs of the Many!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
Like a choose your own ending kind of story but digitized? I'm a Kindle junkie, so it would need to be able to be downloaded. :-D Sounds interesting!
Apr. 26th, 2010 11:02 am (UTC)
Kindle has a net connection, so it should be possible for a book to at least check in with its "home base" for periodic updates.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )