Harry Potter goes viral


This summer, something big happened. The Harry Potter era came to an end. Most students at DePauw were a part of the Potter epidemic.

Starting 10 years ago, the Harry Potter series found its way into our hearts and our homes, and has been there ever since.

When the final movie, based on the seventh book, was released, it was supposed to be the end.

Wasn't it?

J.K Rowling, the author of the series, proved us wrong. It was announced early this summer that Rowling did continue writing.

She was not writing another book, but rather writing a completely new experience for "Potterheads" around the globe. It is an interactive website called Pottermore.

Pottermore is a place where readers are made to feel as if they are a part of Potter's world. They are sorted into houses, mix potions and cast spells. The series is brought to life again. In addition to the fun games users can play, Rowling wrote exclusive new material for Potter fans. Most of the new material covers more history on the characters, their decisions and why Rowling chose to write the way she did.

While Pottermore doesn't officially open until Oct. 1, a lucky one million were admitted early entry over the summer.

Becoming one of those one million was not an easy task. There were seven days and seven chances for fans to win early access. Each day, a question would pop up on the Pottermore website for fans to try and answer correctly. The tricky part was that the question was only on the website for a certain amount of time at a specific time of day.

Fans around the globe stayed up late to catch the question. Once you answered a question correctly, you were able to move on to another webpage where you had to find a hidden magical quill. Once you found the quill, you were redirected back to Pottermore and able to register to start your adventure.

Even after getting an email, users had to wait to get their official welcome letters that actually allowed them into the site. That put many people on edge.

As fun as it is, due to the high demand, there are some drawbacks to the website as well. Having one million people on a website is nearly impossible. As of late, there have been so many people on Pottermore that it is difficult to log in. In addition, some of the functions aren't available. After you finish playing and reading the first book, the second book still isn't ready.

There is also a problem with the duels virtual Slytherins, for example, can have with virtual Hufflepuffs. The makers and web designers of the site hope these functions will be available to players after Pottermore officially opens for everyone.

It looks like we'll just have to wait.

Harry Potter isn't the only book series to jump on the bandwagon of interactive websites.

The Hunger Games series has also begun to develop an online presence. Panem October is for fans of the series. But different in contrast with the magical world of Pottermore, the Hunger Games is much more competitive.

Both sites provide users with the opportunity to experience their favorite books in a new way. Yes, most of us are adults, but these websites show us we still have our inner kid inside somewhere.

We will never let the Potter legacy go.

They show us that no matter what, things we loved in our childhood can carry through into our adulthood, and we can and should be proud of it.

— Harper-Davis is a sophomore communications major from Washington D.C. features@thedepauw.com