Last week, Veja magazine wrote about Brazilians’ rising interest in books based on video games, putting titles like Assassin’s Creed onto PublishNews’ bestseller list, and this week newspaper Folha de S. Paulo showed a project also investing in videogames, but the other way around. The Livro e Game project, funded by Telefônica Foundation, adapts books by Brazilian classical authors into computer games.
Up to now, there are three: Memórias de um sargento de Milícia by Manuel Antônio de Almeida, Dom Casmurro by Machado de Assis, and O Cortiço by Aluísio Azevedo. All three titles are late 19th century classics and are part of every school’s curriculum.
As it usually happens with difficult masterpieces read at a young age, teenagers end up hating these works. Livro e Game wants to prevent that from happening, and also offers an online course to teach educators how to use the games in the classroom. “We want to show that these books are not a boring thing that students are required to read. They are alive, can transform the reader’s life,” said cultural manager Celso Santiago, who directs the project, to Folha.
For some titles, like Dom Casmurro, it is not a first time it is ‘published’ in a different version. Since Brazilian government included HQs versions of classic works in its school purchases programs, many books, from Tolstoy’s War and Peace to Machado De Assis’ Dom Casmurro have been adapted to HQs.