It used to be that if you wanted to close a business deal, discuss an upcoming court case, or to do some planning outside of the office you’d grab your clubs and head down to the local country club to play a round of golf and I love playing golf with my pineclubgolf.com amazing equipment.
Well, as 1UP.com reports, instead of practicing the ‘ole swing, many professionals are now banding together to slay a dragon or to explore a dungeon together. Many professionals are now gaming together in World of Warcraft.
I suppose this is something that, deep down, I’ve always known. It is not uncommon for I and some fellow teachers in my district (as well as some students and former students) to gather, online, on a Saturday night and engage in some serious dungeon raiding. And what do educators talk about when they’re gaming together? Often, it’s teaching!
In fact, Peggy Sheehy recently introduced me to a guild (an organization of gamers) called Cognitive Dissonance. This World of Warcraft guild consists of educators and game researchers, who, when not discussing education and virtual worlds, enjoy teaming up to take down the forces of the Lich King, Arthas. I even transferred one of my characters, Pantego, a now level 80 Shaman over to the server to play (and collaborate/network) with these folks.
Even in online gaming, the world gets a little smaller and a little flatter.
Great post and great find on the iup.com article. I agree that WOW fills the position of golf for many organizations. When I was in the Army, golf was basically on the schedule every day and it was assumed that young officers played. It gave you a common discussion topic and allowed you to see your colleagues in varied conditions. How do they act when playing well? What happens when they put the ball in the lake two times in a row? Do they follow rules? What kind of jokes do they make?
It’s an authentic experience – just like many aspects of WOW.
Many of the folks working in the tech department of UNCW play WOW. By having my own character and speaking passable WOW speak, I was able to establish a credible identity and was seen as part of the club. And when you play with a group (you get invited if you have a credible identity), you can see how people react, just like in golf. What happens when they wipe a whole group? Do they ninja loot? Do they whine when not playing well?
How can we incorporate this type of experience into classrooms? I think group work is a start. Being able to “talk the talk” and establish identity / expertise is another.