A WoW (World of Warcraft) news story this winter begins: “This is interesting — a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison . . . says that World of Warcraft is an emerging new ‘third place.’ That is, it’s a place in between your work and home where you make friends and otherwise interact with new people. Starbucks has even used the term in their actual marketing (to try to make their coffee shops a hangout more than just a place that you stop by and grab a cuppa joe), and WoW isn’t even the first videogame to fit the critera — Sony advertised the Playstation 2 as a ‘third place’ in Europe.”
A conference I attended last week included sessions on learning methods within MMOs. We learned how games like WoW are teaching design, social, strategy, leadership and other skills.
Most students in our schools are not allowed to venture into MMOs while in school because, generally speaking, the adults there are behind the learning curve for online activities. Caution and suspicion barriers are high.
In an MMO session at the conference last week, an ahead of the curve teacher spoke up from the audience with an impassioned plea to make “the price point” for MMOs affordable in schools. (more…)