SIBF 2023: Video game-inspired film spawning a new generation of young readers in the UAE
SIBF 2023

SIBF 2023: Video game-inspired film spawning a new generation of young readers in the UAE

Nov 8, 2023

Originally a series of nine video games, Five Nights At Freddy’s, was released in 2014 before its first paperback version was published in 2016 only to come back in vogue now

Books based on a nine-year-old video series later adapted into an American supernatural horror
series has been very popular amongst the UAE’s young readers, who are taking home the
entire series from the ongoing 42nd Sharjah International Book Fair.
Originally a series of nine video games based on a fictional family pizza restaurant chain called
“Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza”, the first game was released in 2014. The novel Silver Eyes, the first
the paperback version of the series was published two years later in September 2016 while a
second novel, The Twisted Ones, was published in June 2017 before eight more were printed
over the years.
However, thanks to its first movie adaptation only earlier this year, the series has suddenly
found favor with young visitors at the 12-day festival taking place under the theme “We Speak
Books”. “We have seen a steady surge in demand for these books since the opening day of the
fair and a lot of that is because of the new movie. People now want to read about it all,” says
Shebin Abdul, a sales executive at DC Books that’s exhibiting in Hall 6 at the Sharjah Expo
Centre where the SIBF will go on until November 12.
“There’s surely a renewed interest [for the series] amongst children, especially the pre-teens,”
adds the 24-year-old who has been busy with his colleagues at the popular Indian bookstore
selling copies of all ten parts of the books as well the graphics novels inspired by the series.
This comes just days after the worldwide theatrical release of the eponymous American
supernatural horror film. And even as it runs in cinemas across UAE, parents are delighted that
their children are picking up Five Nights at Freddy’s books.

“It seems like reverse psychology and it’s working perfectly fine in an age otherwise
characterized by the omnipresence of digital screens where the allure of video games, social
media, and streaming platforms often take precedence over the traditional joy of reading a
book,” says Priyanka Sarkar, an Indian mum of a 12-year-old who recently bought not only The
Silver Eyes, the first graphic novel of the series but also Lally’s Game, the first of the 10 novels
published by American multinational publishing and media company Scholastic Inc..
“I struggled to get her to read all these years but suddenly I see her develop a huge interest in
these books and funnily it is all because of a video game in the first place and add to that the
movie. The digital world is pushing our children back to books,” she added.
11-year-old Asmi Pattnaik took her parents to the SIBF on Sunday only to buy a Five Nights At
Freddy’s book. “I have played the game before and now I am excited to see the movie but I will
only do so after reading a story,” said the grade 7 student of Our Own English School in Dubai.
The series, developed by Scott Cawthon, has taken its haunting and suspenseful gaming
narrative and translated it into a successful literary franchise. These books, including titles like
“The Silver Eyes,” “The Twisted Ones,” and “The Fourth Closet,” have resonated deeply with
fans of the game, providing them with an opportunity to delve further into the chilling world of
Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.

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