Crowded Fiction: Can a dyslexic video game maker get kids loving reading?


Crowded Fiction: Can a dyslexic video game maker get kids loving reading?

SEATTLE, WA — Oct 2, 2013 — Indie app developer, Vidya Gamer LLC today announces the launch of Crowded Fiction for iPad. Created by dyslexic video game maker, Joe Booth (FIFA, NEED FOR SPEED, Ghost Recon), Crowded Fiction is an innovative new eBook app that aims to get kids (aged 9+) passionate about reading. It uses multiple video game inspired strategies to make fiction interactive, tactile, social and competitive.

The app was developed by Joe Booth who has struggled with reading and writing since childhood. Watching his son also struggle with reading, Booth thought, What if eBooks and fiction were more like video games? “Our vision is that the next generation of kids will be just as passionate about reading as this generation is about gaming,” says Booth. Last week, Neilson Book reported that 8% fewer kids are reading compared to just one year ago. “We want to reverse that trend,” Booth adds.

JACKSON’S CHOICE is the debut interactive eBook on Crowded Fiction. As Jackson, the reader will throw punches in fight scenes by swiping the screen, literally steer their way through an explosive car chase, control the pace as they explore exotic locations, read body language to master conversation scenes.

“We are unique in that we focus all our innovation on text and reading. Being a native app allowed us to create something that is tactile and interactive,” says Booth. “But we didn’t stop there: gaming today is social and competitive – we think fiction can be too.”

Each chapter of Jackson’s Choice has a dilemma that is determined by the combined choice of the crowd. For example, in Chapter One, the reader finds a hundred dollars on a dead body. They choose whether to keep it or put it back. The aggregated choice of all readers will impact Jackson’s personality in the next book. Readers also earn XBOX LIVE style achievements and compete with friends to top the leaderboard.

Booth collaborated with Queenie Moffat, the pseudonym for a multi-published author, to write Jackson’s Choice. “Crowded Fiction is an amazing platform for a writer. It enables us to engage the reader by turning the iPad into a steering wheel in car chases or using swipe gestures to direct the punch in a fight scene,” says Moffat.

The Crowded Fiction app is available for download today for iPad. The FREE download includes a sample of Jackson’s Choice with the full book available as an In-App Purchase.

Contact: Joe Booth, CEO & Founder. +1 425 922 4866


App Store:

App Detail: and

Joe Booth background: Struggles with dyslexia:

KickStarter (as Vidya Books)



Video game exec startup set to shake up book publishing with new e-book app


Video game exec startup set to shake up book publishing with new e-book app

SEATTLE, WA — April 3, 2013 — Vidya Books, a division of Vidya Gaming LLC, announced today that it has successfully raised the necessary funds to secure the launch of its innovative e-book platform and first book. Created by video game makers who love reading, Vidya Books is set to shake up the book publishing industry as the first and only e- book platform that is completely focused on using technology to inspire a passion for reading, rather than as a distraction. The app will be launched for iPad and iPhone within the next 60 days.

Vidya Books is a tablet app that uses the full capabilities of today's interactive tablet devices to create a new, exciting, interactive reading experience. Upon opening the app and selecting a book, the story unfolds on screen, one word at a time. The Reader directs the main character by interacting with the words as they appear, to chart their own path through the story by swiping the screen, touching words, and manipulating the device as the story moves forward.

The app was developed by Joe Booth who has dyslexia and has struggled with reading and writing since childhood. Despite his dyslexia, Booth became a successful executive at many video game companies. He believes that every reader should be able to read the content they love, no matter their reading level. Booth says “If we solved this for video games 30 years ago by adding difficulty levels, we can solve it for books today.”

Booth adds, “The book publishing world needs outside thinkers to shake it up. The shift from paper to interactive device is immense. Content is always shaped by the constraints of its medium. Think about the shift from plays to movies. It took years for filmmakers to learn and master the new medium of film and go from the simple recording of a play to the epic films we see today. For books and reading, the shift from paper to interactive device dwarfs that of film. I think we are merely scratching at the surface of its implication.”

The first novel to be released by Vidya Books is called A for Adventure, which was inspired by Indiana Jones, Uncharted, and Tomb Raider. It's an epic adventure that puts the reader at the heart of the story as they travel the globe, uncovering a mystery that spans centuries. The novel gives book lovers a new way to experience a genre they love.

Vidya Books turned to crowdsourcing platform, for funding. In just four days, they raised the $10,000 needed to complete the first book. Developing a close relationship with their passionate supporters, they learned there is an audience of people who care deeply about reading and love the use of technology to attract people back to reading instead of distracting them away.

Vidya Books will use the remaining two weeks of their Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to make additional versions of the book at different reading levels. “I grew up struggling with reading. Once I slipped behind, I was given books aimed at much younger kids - no wonder I disengaged”, says Booth. “By using our stretch goals to fund additional reading levels, we can give struggling readers the content they love at their reading level, just like in a video game.”

More information about Vidya Books and Vidya Gamer LLC can be found below: