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NLB has gamified these classic books to encourage reading in SG

NLB has gamified these classic books to encourage reading in SG

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Singapore's National Library Board (NLB) has partnered OpenAI and Publicis Groupe’s LePub to transform books into interactive text-based adventure games as it looks to keep books relevant in an age dominated by digital distractions.

Titled the 'Playbrary', the project uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to convert books in the public domain into games that adhere to the book’s original plot but enable players to influence the story’s course and plot.

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There are currently more than 1000 classic books that are playable and they include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

By gamifying the reading process, the initiative seeks to address the dwindling interest in traditional reading among younger generations. In fact, a recent survey by Singapore’s Ministry of Education showed that Singaporean students who “enjoy reading a lot” fell to 51% in 2023, as compared to 60% in 2011. Conversely, at least 75% of Singaporeans play video or mobile games.

“This is part of NLB’s ongoing efforts to make Generative AI accessible to all. Our partnership with LePub APAC opens new, innovative ways for more to read,” said NLB Singapore’s CEO Ng Cher Pong.

“Playbrary celebrates books through the lens of technology, inviting a new generation to rediscover the magic of stories in a format that resonates with their digital-first lifestyle. Once they’ve ‘played’ a story on Playbrary, many kids will be curious to read the original,” added Cyril Louis, executive creative director at LePub APAC.

The Playbrary also offers a free prompt generator, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the fusion of reading and gaming. Once children ‘play’ a story, they can loan the original from NLB’s catalogue of books and eBooks.

“Playbrary is an exciting project for LePub, which not only helps to rekindle a love for reading in young adults but is also a great educational resource,” added Hanh Kanssen, LePub APAC’s managing director.

While NLB encourages Singapore to read classic books, it also recently teamed up with fashion retailer Uniqlo as part of the National Reading Movement to encourage more people to set aside more time for reading with exclusive t-shirt designs and a library wall at Uniqlo's 51@AMK outlet. 

The designs of the eight exclusive t-shirts were inspired by four Singapore Literature (Sing Lit) books and four reading-inspired slogans.

The four Sing Lit titles which inspired the T-shirt designs include Sugarbread by Balli Kaur Jaswal, A Bad Girl’s Book of Animals by Wong May and The Angle Tiger and Other Stories by Barrie Sherwood and The Gatekeeper by Nuraliah Norasid, according to Uniqlo in a statement. 

Join us this coming 24 - 25 April for #Content360, a two-day extravaganza centered around four core thematic pillars: Explore with AI; Insight-powered strategies; Content as an experience; and Embrace the future. Immerse yourself in learning to curate content with creativity, critical thinking, and confidence with us at Content360!

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