LeVar Burton Wants to Bring "Reading Rainbow" to Xbox and PlayStation

If funding reaches $5 million, new Reading Rainbow program will come to unspecified Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

by

Actor LeVar Burton wants to bring his upcoming Reading Rainbow project to a host of new platforms, including gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation systems. For that to happen, though, funding for the Star Trek actor's newly launched Kickstarter campaign needs to reach $5 million.

Right now, the campaign stands at $2.8 million from more than 64,000 backers. "Let's do this, ya'll. I'll see you later. But you don't have to take my word for it," Burton said in a Kickstarter video update today. The campaign ends on Wednesday, July 2.

Burton's new Reading Rainbow project was originally announced as a web application only, but after considering comments and suggestions, it was decided that to be "accessible to more kids and families," the initiative would also need to expand to new platforms.

In addition to the unspecified Xbox and PlayStation consoles, if the $5 million stretch goal is met, the new Reading Rainbow program will be released for mobile devices, as well as over-the-top boxes like AppleTV, Roku, and Kindle Fire TV.

Burton's overall ambition for his new Reading Rainbow initiative is to bring the program to "every child, everywhere." The service will include an "unlimited library" of books and video field trips for "today's digitally connected kids." He's calling on people who grew up with Reading Rainbow to help fund the new Kickstarter to support the children of the next generation.

Reading Rainbow went off the air in 2009. It originally aired on PBS and Burton was its host and producer.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

74 comments
TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

Gosh, how much are subscriptions to that app?  Reading the backer rewards makes this program sound really expensive.  How many kids is a subscription like this going to get to?

freedomzealot
freedomzealot

Call me a cynic but screw teaching Americans to read, all they read if anything is gossip mags,pulp fiction novels, propaganda newspapers and tv guide. Burton go to a country where your efforts wont be wasted

There are some people in this world who want ot use their brain.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Reading Rainbow isn't a game.  Therefore, this is not gaming news.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

I still bet kids that watch this show on their console will immediately afterwards go back to decapitating zombies in a video game, rather than picking up a book.  But I guess it's worth a try to get kids to read...

Babugee
Babugee

Butterfly in the skyyyyyyyyyy
I can go twice as highhhh
Take a look
It's in a book
A Reading Rainboooooooooooooooww

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII can go anywheeeeeeeeeeeeeere
Friends to know
And ways to grow
A Reading Rainboooooooooooooooww

I caaaaaan be anythiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing
Take a look
It's in a book
A Reading Rainbooooooooooooooow
A Reading Rainbooooooooooooooooowww

Setzera
Setzera

I didn't really like the show as a kid, but after years of being a Star Trek fan, I've come to like LeVar Burton's work.  So I fully support this effort.  Unfortunately I cannot do it financially, I can't even buy a game these days.  But, may the Forge be with you!

Hurvl
Hurvl

Damn, their kickstarter is moving along with warp speed. I read on their page that they thought it might reach their funding goal 1 million dollars in the 11th hour and it actually only took 11 hours :P.

Tanares
Tanares

I totally suypport this. I no longer wish to live in a world where 'you' is 'u' and 'too' or 'to' is '2'. I will also kill the next person to verbally SAY 'lol'. I will physically kill them.

slappy54
slappy54

Now, at last the peasants will get their reading in. :P

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

"I'll see you next time."

Next time couldn't have come sooner, LeVar. Welcome back.

Brakkyn
Brakkyn

GO TWICE AS HIGH!  You have my full support, LaForge!

ENGAGE!

leimonides
leimonides

2009? I thought it stopped production way, way before that. Anyway, it sounds like a great project and a good idea to include its availability outside of tablets, phones, and computers. I hope that it makes it. It will be unfortunate if it doesn't because it deserves any amount it gets; and the number that it has now is impressive. 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

I think a reboot of the reading rainbow will do great as there is a new appetite for truly smart and educational new shows. Take the Cosmos new series and BBC Earth series, and popular dramas and comedies set in science and smart fantasy. I am hoping the days of reality tv shows die off and stay dead. A new Reading Rainbow on tablets, consoles, and hopefully back on tv will probably do well. 

As for Kickstarter- to me it is like a plutonium, it can be used to power a city or tear one down as a bomb. The projects on kickstarter can be horrible jokes and they can also be awesome new ideas- i just hope the people who donate their money understand what kickstarter is. 


monson21502
monson21502

just do it.. sell it for 3 bucks you will get more then 5 million in funds

xcollector
xcollector

Well there is a lot of little kids playing COD on consoles. This will be good for them.

filemaster4
filemaster4

Yes lets do this. I just made my pledge to Reading Rainbow. I am going to keep on giving on what I can afford.

shadowkratos774
shadowkratos774

The comments on this very site is more than enough reason to donate.

xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

This being on as many platforms as possible helps the world as long as even one person can benefit from it. Hell yeah, this is awesome.

JoInfo
JoInfo

Only if they bring back the old 80s episodes will I approve!

MrNachobro
MrNachobro

Judging by the grammatical errors in today's social media, everyone could do with a little more literacy...

Barighm
Barighm

Huh. And here I was about to suggest Burton was just desparate for work, but this actually sounds like a legit project designed to take advantage of modern technology to accomplish something meaningful and important. Shame on me.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

They gotta bring this back.  There is good educational TV out there, but one thing I miss (since they canned "Between the Lions") is TV that segues into books.  I remember, as a kid, seeing a book on reading rainbow and then wanting to read it, or have it read to me.  I'd love to have my kids do the same. 

Paulf001
Paulf001

Honestly little kids who have a Xbox or PS aren't going to pay like $4-5 for an episode of Reading Rainbow when they could be buying a game instead.  I mean a lot of kids won't watch it for free on PBS.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@ReadingRainbow4  If not you than who?  WHO??

Or is it "whom"?  Ah, who gives a crap. :)

Do an episode on who vs. whom!

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@freedomzealot  That's an over-generalization regarding Americans, however it is true for many.  Capitalism gone wrong has resulted with our educational t.v. channels having documentaries replaced with reality shows about racist southerners or guys who live in the hills, or just fat lazy families (which I think help fuels stereotypes of Americans). 

Not all of us like the mass media crud.  And people such as myself stopped reading fiction altogether years ago, I like to learn new things during my reading time.

I always think it's funny when some people act like they are so sophisticated b/c they read a ton of books, but then you find out all they read are the endless numbers of dirty romance novels.  Ha!  I do see your point there, but that's not all our prolific readers.

America has probably declined academically, but not all of us have gone down that route, you just don't hear about us in the media.  And if America's love of reading has declined, then we definitely need Reading Rainbow.

However, I bet many kids, even if they watch Reading Rainbow, will just play around on their cell phones while the show is on.  And that's a different problem altogether, and certainly not an American-centric problem.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@Mustang227  Yeah I know, he doesn't let his blindness slow him down!  And yes, that's a Star Trek joke...

ghost140
ghost140

@Master_Turismo  I don't understand your comment, do you just dislike the idea of Kickstarter? Regardless it is a worthy cause.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@Barighm Yeah, he's a true believer.  He's done a lot of outreach in schools all along.  He's a good guy.

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

@Paulf001 Kids have parents. They should pay for their kids education. Who said that kids had to pay for RR with their pocket money???

Barighm
Barighm

@Paulf001 This isn't like 20 years ago when the kids pretty much had full control of the console and the parents just didn't want to bother. The kids who played those consoles now govern what gets played on the consoles, and they actually know how to choose the right games for their family.


Well, I like to think so anyway.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@Paulf001 They do have parents.  The kids don't buy games.  Good parents will show them stuff like this.


And PBS.

streamline
streamline

Who said he is going to charge that much, if any at all, just for the episodes? This is also about giving kids access to books to encourage reading.

hystavito
hystavito

@spacecadet25 @freedomzealot I hate how all the formerly documentary/educational networks sold out, but I guess if it makes more money they'll do it.  TLC, The Learning Channel :), is probably the worst, it has virtually no educational programming left, unless you count makeover and real estate flipping shows :).

hystavito
hystavito

@spacecadet25 @Mustang227 Sigh, I tried to reply to you and some word was caught and comment went to pending, no idea which word it could have been, this word filter is ridiculous.

Master_Turismo
Master_Turismo

@ghost140 Its not like that. Kickstater has done some good yes but then again there is bad ones that come out . . . alot of them actually. Sure Mighty No. 9 was definitely a worthy cause and Oculus Rift was great despite Facebook buying it. However things like the Ouya and other failed products tend to sway me away from it. By all means I wish LeVar the best of luck but after my past few experiences with Kickstarter I'm going to pass. Thats just my opinion on it anyway.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@Barighm I think mostly.  I do, and my friends do.  But there's still a lot of absentee parenting being done by the box.  Had my first grader come home and ask for Halo.  Said... "Uh.... no, and, while we're on the subject, how do you know about Halo?"  Told me a classmate plays it.  Which I believe, because said classmate has parents that are.... how to say.... disengaged, and probably would plop him in front of adult videos if he asked and would sit still. 

Stiler
Stiler

@streamline It's not going to be free except to poor/lower income schools and such. 

It's going to be a subscription based model to watch it for many people, you can see this for yourself by simply looking at th rewards. 

One of the rewards ($25) is for a "months subscription to the app) another is to adopt a class (375 bucks) for a "years subscription" to the app. 

So no, it's not free, except to a limited amount of lower income schools and such.

 

UFOLoche
UFOLoche

@Master_Turismo @ghost140  Of course there's going to be some bad to go with the good.  Heck, the Ouya was more of a product of people expecting something more and then being disappointed when it did exactly what it said on the tin, but that's besides the point.


Instead of focusing on the medium through which the project is being funded, why not focus more on the credentials of the people running said project?  That'd make a lot more sense in the long run.

shinjuki
shinjuki

@Master_Turismo @ghost140 


Not all, even good, ideas are going to work out though.


Shoes having pace keepers and built in GPS that are charged when you walk is great in theory, wouldn't pan out probably.

streamline
streamline

@Stiler, thanks for summarizing the kick starter page info, but nothing you wrote really contradicts the argument I was trying to make against Paulf001. He tried to shoot the idea down by making a strawman argument about how this is JUST to sell TV episodes. Though, even at $375 per classroom, that isn't that much if the class size is 30 kids and they can get access to a 30 copies of the same book for weekly reading assignments. The kickstarter page isn't clear enough on the book lending part though.

Stiler
Stiler

@streamline Sorry, your reply made it sound like you were trying to imply it was going to be free or such, was just pointing out that it won't be for most people.

That's the thing about this kickstarter, they don't really tell you what the money is going toward, aside from bring the app to a wider audience/the net, there's not a lot of actual details on what the the actual money is going to be used for, how much the sub will cost, details on new episodes/video field trips, books, allt he things that shoudl be front and center they aren't really talking about.