Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New and Challenging Virtual Worlds

This week I did two things I didn’t really want to do; building in SL and playing World of Warcraft (WoW for short).  However, like the dutiful and compliant student, I was determined to complete my assignments.
Once I downloaded WoW and created my dwarf, I started trying to figure out how to “play” the game.  While somewhat intuitive, I found myself challenged.  I know we will eventually be meeting and playing with my classmates in the Sisters of Elune Realm, but for now, I am just trying to develop some experience in navigating this new virtual world. 
I realize that this virtual world has the potential for teaching team skills!  Instead of having my students work in teams to write and present a paper on some theory, I could have them work in Teams in WoW.  The experience would more closely align with real world team work and problem solving than what my students normally experience in the “typical” group project.  I see great potential and direct application for this tool!
Now onto building in SL:  I’m not sure why I was so hesitant to build in SL but I found the experience fun.  It certainly helped that Jane/Esme was guiding me through the process.  Now all I have to do is find some furniture! 
What I learned – I had to use problem solving skills and experimentation – very cool…created some new brain synapses today!  So, even though I started the week thinking I would not enjoy this week’s activity, I was very pleasantly surprised.


  1. Hey there, I found your blog through Reddit. I myself am a 29 year old female Guild Master in WoW. I sincerely hope your realizations that Warcraft is a great tool for team building eventually break into the mainstream. When I first took over my Guild, it simply shocked me how many grown adults had forgotten simple concepts like sharing and helping others that were mainstays in our youth. I always equate playing the game and raiding in particular, as being part of a bowling league. If you don't show up to your raid night, your team forfeits the league game. I've used this analogy very successfully to guide players through the social obligations of team sport. I know if my Professor at Uni had assigned a 10 man raid as a team building exercise, I would have laughed in his face. Five years later, I know that organizing five to ten people (or even 25 on occasion) in this online realm is no less challenging than the aforementioned bowling league - in fact it's harder because we can't all have a beer together afterward! Good luck exploring Azeroth. I wish you and your classmates all the best.

    1. It didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that assigning a group activity in WOW would be a more effective (and exciting)way to teach team skills than the typical group project one gets assigned in the typical college classroom (conduct research on X and present your finding to the class using - BORING!). It turns out that there is a guild of teachers that use WOW in the classroom! I would like to incorporate some form of gaming into my Leadership class and adopt gaming principles into my other course - Human Resource Management. Thanks for your comments and your well wishes.