What Boys Like: Assassin's Creed

October 30th saw the release of Assassin's Creed III, the highly anticipated fifth installment of the Assassin's Creed video game series (Assassin's Creed II was three games, and I'm ignoring all the extra side games that came out on various handheld devices).  This is a huge release, and the story is pretty fascinating: you are an Assassin in the middle of a millenia-long struggle with the Templar order, currently fighting it out in the Revolutionary-era American Colonies.  The game is developed by a Montreal-based , French-owned video game company, and is being heralded by some as aside from some sci-fi elements being one of the most faithful and accurate reproductions of life in that era in pop culture.

What does this all mean for reading?  This isn't a gaming blog, after all.  As I noted when I previously discussed Assassin's Creed, the series is very well researched and rooted largely in true historical events, using real historical figures, of delving into more obscure or controversial moments in these figures' lives.  Example: Ben Franklin advocated taking older woman as mistresses as they were "more experienced".  He also apparently enjoyed farting.  A series like this with a small in-game encyclopedia can easily inspire gamers into investigating the background in more detail.  Given that the topic this time around is the American Revolution and especially Native American issues surrounding it, there is a lot of material for kids to dig into. 

Games often have good stories, but they are often as detailed as this.  But in many cases, there is a lot that can be taken from them in terms of inspiration for further reading.  Pay attention to what kids are playing and you'll get an idea of what books you can recommend.  I often start my reader's advisory by asking not what they read but what they play.
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