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Harry Potter & The Potential Ca$h Grab or What Exactly Is Pottermore?

Just WTF Is This Thing Anyway?

Oh look! It is another Harry Potter article. Thanks to J.K. Rowling I needed to discover just exactly what the hell this “Pottermore” thing is. Rowling’s initial video message made it seem like it was nothing more than just a chance to read the Harry Potter books only this time with FLASH Animation and some new written content. Of course every Potter fan out there is convinced there is more to it than that. I mean there has to be. Right? I mean Rowling has been way more respectful of her fans than other major franchise creators (Yeah, I’m looking right at your flannel shirt wearing ass George Lucas). But given the vagueness of the announcement, it is still isn’t clear what Pottermore is supposed to be or what purpose it will serve besides making Rowling just a little bit richer.

The registration process is quite a little pain in the ass unto itself. The fact that the registration is being conducted as a sort of treasure hunt/clue search is also kind of frustrating. The idea is that the registration will be opened to those who follow the clue given on July 31st – August 7th. Each day is a different clue and each clue corresponds with the book representing that day (i.e. Day 1 had a clue dealing with Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone, Day 2 Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets and so on). Figuring out the clue gives one access to a “Magic Quill” that once located allows for early registration to the site. That is some straight out of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory shit right there. It just needs Gene Wilder shouting “I Said Good Day” at you to make it more so.Now, I was late to the party and didn’t get involved until day 4. All things considered the day 4 clue was pretty freaking easy since it relied on me knowing 1 Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire related question and then using very basic math to get to the Magic Quill.

I then followed the instructions of cutting and pasting the math result at the end of the given Pottermore/Magic Quill web address and began my registration. I gave my basic info and then was quickly informed that I was indeed “Magical”. I get the feeling anyone who is registering for the BETA will get this result, though it would be pretty humorous to hear online rants from Potter-Nerds the world over lamenting their own Muggle status. Man that would lead to some great Emo blog rants that would make me laugh harder than “Who’s On First?” I promise you.

With my personal info and “Magical” Status confirmed I was given 5 usernames to choose from. This might be the biggest gripe that most people have with the registration, since you cannot customize your username. Now for me, I don’t care that much. I mean sure using what I use for all my other log-ins would be easier but I actually get where the Pottermore people are coming from with this. It is purely a security thing; I mean why risk someone swiping your account if they know you use the same username for all your log-ins. What? So I use the same username for pretty much everything. It is just a matter of convenience. Stop staring at me admit, at least I change up my passwords.

So with my shiny new username all selected I submitted my registration. I was given the standard “sign-up for new thing legal spiel’ about receiving a verification email and to click the link in the email. I have to admit, I was mildly excited. Soon I would be deep into the Pottermore experience… in theory!

I waited 5 minutes and no email. Already my dear friend Breann was getting ridiculously giddy about it. Breann is a Potter Fan of the highest caliber. She seems to know every little detail about every character, be they major, minor or completely insignificant. Trying to watch the movies with her can be quite the chore as she squeals in delight at every true to the book moment that crops up. She also isn’t afraid to comment on her more salacious intents for the male members of the Weasley clan. When rumors started leaking about what Pottermore was going to be she refused to listen to any of it because she wanted to be surprised. She still hasn’t forgiven me because I texted her some rumors about it. It was her finding of the Day 4 clue that reminded me I was going to sign-up for this Pottermore thing in the first place. She got the clue figured, got herself registered and validated in what seemed like no time. Me? I was still waiting as I traded quips with Breann about whether or not she was, in fact, a hipster or not.

90 minutes later I got the verification email. Let me state this again 90 MINUTES LATER!

I opened the email, clicked on the link and now my Pottermore account was officially made active. Well, save for the past where I can’t actually use Pottermore itself yet. See J.K. Rowling and the people at Sony knew that if they announced a Harry Potter Online project that literally millions of people would flood the main website creating chaos for all. Instead they are using the Magic Quill thing as a means to control the people they let in so they don’t crash their own servers. 7 days to register and each day they hit a quota. 7 days and when they hit 1000000 registered users then they will shut down the early bird registration and start letting registered Pottermore users into the site, albeit in small groups, to fiddle with it before the October launch.

I am very interested to see what lies within Pottermore. I hope it really is something special and not just a “re-read the books but now with pretty pictures” dupe that some are saying it will be. Part of me still holds out that this is actually an MMO or at least very bare bones MMO set in the Potter Universe. Really, all I care about is that the Pottermore experience is a fun one and a well made one no matter what it ends up being. After all, J.K. Rowling has been very careful about what young Mr. Potter’s name gets put on. She knows that if it carries the Harry Potter name on it, then a certain amount of quality needs to be upheld. She has the magic touch, she knows it and more importantly she seems to be doing her best to not abuse it. Let’s hope that Pottermore holds up that tradition.

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