Harry Ludens: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as a Novel and Computer Game

Anna Gunder


Computer games inspired by literary works have become a fairly commonphenomenon in the modern mediascape. This article analyzes and describes the ludolization, i.e., transposition into game form, of J.K. Rowling's novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997). The study is a comparative analysis of the PC version of the computer game Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and the original novel, with focus on both the media structure and the narrative/ludic structure of the two works. It consists of three main parts: an examination of the narrative content and themes in the novel and in the game (with an inventory of events, actions, characters, and settings), a structural analysis of the game from a user perspective, and, with the aim to describe some of the structural devices that hold the reader's/player's attention, a comparison of the works' temporal structures. The theoretical framework for this endeavor is based primarily on ludology (i.e., game studies) and narratology, but it also includes, to some extent, hypertext theory and new media studies.

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