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Literature Alive:

Interactive Adventures for Everyone

An authentic, collaborative, creative digital arts project

for children and young people aged 8 – 24


Youth groups, clubs and organisations

Schools and colleges

Home educated

Young people will work together to make a complete video game

and publish it online in the major game stores.


The game will be a gamebook simulator: like a book on your PC screen or mobile device, but with lots of other ingredients to break up the text and make it a fun experience.

Intended audience

It will be for so-called reluctant readers: young people who have, so far, not found a way to enjoy reading.


Our project participants, many of whom self-identify as reluctant readers, have decided to make it a folk horror game.

To make it appropriate for a school setting, we will not have any weapons as such and no blood and gore.

The pupils have embraced this restriction as a source of inspiration, and decided to make light and music key themes. The characters the player will have to engage with will be people infected with something our young writers have called The Corruption. The Corruption will be vulnerable to light and music. Flashlights, lamps, glowsticks, musical instruments, gramophones, songs will be the player’s weapons. One of the the player’s objectives is to collect components and craft and repair these items.

Other ingredients

The reading experience will be enriched with:

  • Voice over narration
  • Individual voice acting of characters’ dialogue
  • Illustrations
  • Animations
  • Music
  • Sound effects

It will be fully interactive, with the reader’s choices directing the course of the narrative, making the reader think carefully about what they are reading, challenging their analytical skills, enhancing their engagement.

One key finding in research about reading fiction is that it helps children develop empathy. We will lean into this by havng a large cast of other characters: people the reader has to engage with, who’s trust they have to earn, or who’s trustworthiness they have to judge; people who they may have to rely on, or who they may have to lead and protect.

And, to add variety, the text will be interspersed 2D puzzles and riddles.

And, to reward readers and keep them engaged, there will ever sections of regular 3D gaming:

  • Exploring
  • Survival Horror
  • Jump Scares
  • Gathering Items
  • Crafting
  • Revealing and releasing locked areas

Creators / Participants:

The genre, style and story will be determined by groups of “reluctant readers“, to make sure it is something they will enjoy playing/reading.

It will be written by talented young writers, mentored by published authors and will have a rich story with complex charactrers.

The other elements will be created by talented young artists, performers and musicians, mentored by professional artists.

The game itself will be built and programmed by young people gifted in maths and/or computers science using industry standard software.

The “reluctant readers” will also take part in creative digital arts activities depending on their own interests and aptitudes. It is entirely likely that some artistically gifted participants will also be reluctant readers.

creative writing

visual art


voice acting



Other benefits

  • Reluctant readers will get to spend time with young people who love reading for pleasure.
  • Young people gifted in maths, logic and computer science will mix with artists and learn how creativity is a vital skill for STEM practitioners.
  • Young writers, artists and musicians will work with young game designers and programmers and learn how critical thinking is invaluable for success in the arts.
  • Primary school pupils will work with secondary school students and so benefit from some easing of the transition process.
  • Secondary school pupils will work with college students and so benefit from learning about the college environment.
  • Home educated children and young people and students in mainstream education will work together and so each will benefit from learning about the other. This could also be of benefit to home educated children transitioning or contemplating transitioning back into mainstream education.

Short Demo of Gamebook Simulator

Full Demo of Gamebook Simulator

Your guarantee

Digital Writes tutors have decades of experience running this kind of project. Young people always have a great time and discover that they are able to produce work that delights and amazes themselves and their friends and families.

I’m really impressed with what I was able to achieve
It’s massively better than I expected … I feel it’s like a proper game that you would actually see on Steam
It was like actually being an adult
(Students on Paper Dreams)

A really immersive and polished game. I’m impressed this was made by young people and not a professional company. A cool adventure that takes you by the hand and leads you into another world. (James Carroll, evil.twin video game studio)

The way you supported the young people was superb. … the way you gave young people the freedom to develop their own ideas, whilst sticking to the brief was quite a juggling act and handled both professionally and creatively; thank you. (Paul Dobson, Project Manager, STEP: young people’s charity)

The team are professional industry experts who know how to engage and break down concepts to a range of students with special needs and emotional and social difficulties. Students enjoy the work and learn a wealth of transferable skills. (Ms Dare, Commonweal School, The Bath Studio School)

I would like to express my thanks for the support you have provided [my daughter]. She is both enjoying it and gaining experiences and confidence that will serve her well in life. (Parent)

Our students have always had a brilliant experience, growing in creative confidence and developing their social and communication skills as well as gaining a wealth of cutting-edge technical expertise. (Ms Urquhart, Lydiard Park Academy)

A fantastic opportunity for students to work with professional artists and game designers to stretch their technical and creative skills. (Mr Mercer, Crowdys Hill Special School)