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Can a video game “revolutionize” publishing?

As the glut of “best of 2013” content begins (guilty as charged), The Atlantic makes a bold statement by calling a video game the “most exciting literary innovation of the year.”

Created by Swedish studio Simogo, Device 6 is a word-based “metaphysical thriller” that can be played on the iPad and iPhone. The interactive novella, about a woman who wakes up on a desert island without a clue as to how she arrived there, mixes text with cartography, 3-D photographs, and Saul Bass”“inspired graphics. Available for $3.99 U.S., the game has sold well, despite the fact that a Simogo spokesperson says, “It’s got a pretty slow pace. It doesn’t have the instant gratification that many games have. This is something that you play and take your time to digest.”

Although The Atlantic interviews several publishing insiders excited about the potential of literary games, they’re still considered a “niche interest” in a market dominated by shoot-’em-up titles. Earlier this month, Q&Q interviewed Jim Munroe, board member of the game-arts organization the Hand Eye Society and organizer of Wordplay, a free “writerly” video-game festival, who says that text-based titles are “are rarely commercial and often distributed for free.”