The world of Harry Potter will make the leap into the digital realm later this year with Pottermore, an interactive virtual world that will let users explore illustrated environments themed around the popular book and movie series.
As described in a Time Magazine report
following this morning's announcement
, Pottermore users won't directly control avatars and the virtual environments are only lightly animated.
Instead, Rowling is reportedly keeping the focus of the web-based interactive world on the "literary experience," with users uncovering bits of backstory and arcana from the Harry Potter universe by clicking around the environments.
Users will also encounter some game-like elements in the world, such as the ability to collect Chocolate Frog cards, use virtual galleons to purchase magical items, and answer personality testing questions that determine their house and their wand type. Users will also be able to talk with each other and submit fan art to share with the community.
The Pottermore site will launch fully on October 1, but one million fans will be able to gain early access on July 31 through an unspecified online challenge.
Rowling also announced that digital text and audio versions of the Harry Potter books would be made available for the first time alongside the Pottermore site.