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#6910152 Oct 29, 2012 at 09:32 AM · Edited 7 years ago
Guild Officer
354 Posts
This is our networked educator discussion for this week. What type of connectivism and participatory culture is happening in MMORPG and guilds?

You may want to take a look at this presentation of the Cognitive Dissonance Guild or even the comedy series The Guild

twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
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#6912802 Oct 29, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Guild Officer
73 Posts
We all know the very fact that there are guilds suggests people value a participatory culture and benefit from networked knowledge construction. In the case of MMORPG's, the game mechanics dictate that groups of people organize for certain tasks. This common objective facilitates a culture where the group benefits from the progress of all of it's members. Guilds are community governed groups based primarily upon skill, interest, and availability. Awesome.
Games Based Learning Mooc (gamesMOOC)
FRCC Humanities Instructor
The best combination of technophile and luddite

Twitter @ThereseEllis
Google+ therese.catherine.ellis@gmail.com
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#6915129 Oct 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM
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561 Posts
I agree that a guild does have participatory culture, as ThereseEllis discusses, and it does meet the criteria for collectivism. I really needed to look at what others have written about this subject. Rita Kop and Adrian Hill's article was a good place to start for me, Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past?

Their conclusion (in 2004) was that "Furthermore, school systems have not developed a connectivist model within which to deliver curricula, partly because educational staff and institutions have not caught on to the possibilities that digital technology have to offer, and partly because not all people are autonomous learners."


I think our MOOC is going a long way towards addressing the issues they mention, in eight years we have come a long way with understanding how it works, including guilds. I guess the one area where my college, at the part-time instructor level, is not moving swiftly toward collectivism. We do have great upper-level support for everyone to try their wings, and this MOOC is an example of that support.

Guilds are, like avatars, are everywhere, of course a WoW guild, has goals and objectives as do the committees and organizations around us.

If how you begin the longest journey is but a single step, we have taken it, and in real-life the Part-Time Instructors Organization (guild, by definition of the term) have succeeded in presenting "Teaching With Purpose" and pays the part-timer's to attend. There I could present a little bit of technology, not much but just using Wordle, a simple tool, organizes a collective thought. If you want to see it here it is: God and Skittles and if you don't have your sound on, it is the theme from 2001 at the beginning and Jeopardy at the end.

Once we collected and Wordle-ed their interviews, the underlying concept of what emerged may surprise you, it did me. This engages the students, the instructors, and when presented at the TWP, engaged the instructors. They also did a wordle of what they thought about written text and visual text.
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#6916438 Oct 30, 2012 at 03:34 PM
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111 Posts
As a gamer, a guild serves three primary functions. First, it serves as a social group to hang out with and talk to. This is more important for some people than it is for others. Secondly, it provides a support group. You're much more likely to get help with a quest or dungeon, or just advice, from someone in your guild than strangers. Lastly, guilds are a good way to have a go-to group for the largest, hardest tasks, such as raids and epic encounters. Trying to put together a pick-up group (PUG) is generally a longer, harder, more tedious process, nd has a much greater chance of simply falling apart.

These are all linked to connectivism and participatory culture. You're in a guild to connect and participate, if only as a necessity to further your own goals.
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
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#6917900 Oct 30, 2012 at 09:30 PM
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561 Posts
I think that guilds do require a certain level of involvement at certain times, so for a casual player, the guilds may be beyond their reach. I couldn't commit to 12 hours a week working in a chocolate factory and getting free chocolates, for example, due to my tight schedule. No one wants to not be participatory, and as Hawkye said it is harder to get PUG (pick up groups). You are so correct about availability, interest and skills. Some take gaming to further limits than others. I do show my Sociology class the film Second Skin Information on Second Skin Documentary Have you seen it? Harder to find it now, and the cost really went up. Has anyone else seen it?


#6912802 ThereseEllis wrote:

We all know the very fact that there are guilds suggests people value a participatory culture and benefit from networked knowledge construction. In the case of MMORPG's, the game mechanics dictate that groups of people organize for certain tasks. This common objective facilitates a culture where the group benefits from the progress of all of it's members. Guilds are community governed groups based primarily upon skill, interest, and availability. Awesome.

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#6920015 Oct 31, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Guild Officer
187 Posts

Due to the fact that I am a research-o-holic, I did some digging to find some discussion out there on the "internetz" to find some additional information about how guilds and education (and by extension, WoW and education) might mix.

I found an interesting thread on the Blizzard forum, begun by an English/Lit instructor, asking the community at large what their feedback is with using WoW guilds educationally. Here's the thread itself: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1751856202

It's a very candid take on the topic, with people both for and against. Obviously, the people who responded would tend to either be in education or trolling, but the discussion largely stayed on topic. It's not a very long page of responses, but what's there is substantial.

On a side note, I loved the part where someone designated l33t speak as a dialect of English! I suppose it could be taken as such....

What do you think about some of the objections? How might they be answered? Which of the concerns do you think are valid? I, for example, tend to agree with the person who basically said that learning in WoW could be overestimated quite a lot. As always, we need to use the right tools and not just the cool tools because they're cool.


Educational Value of WoW by Leedale Shepherd, on Flickr
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#6921089 Oct 31, 2012 at 02:57 PM
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111 Posts
I would say "leet speak" is more of a mangling of the English language than a dialect. It is better to equate it to Cockney Rhyming Slang, since its original purpose was to obfuscate communication from those not "in the know" about how to read it. Mercifully, hardly any gamers take leet speak seriously anymore. Certainly none of the people I play with and respect use leet any way but ironically.

Speaking of ironic, the very fact that it's even being DISCUSSED in a facilitated educational setting means that the purpose of leet speak has hit its expiration date. After all, its express purpose was to keep things obfuscated from people like you. I couldn't be happier about its fall from grace.
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
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#6924891 Nov 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
#6921089 Hawkye wrote:

Speaking of ironic, the very fact that it's even being DISCUSSED in a facilitated educational setting means that the purpose of leet speak has hit its expiration date. After all, its express purpose was to keep things obfuscated from people like you. I couldn't be happier about its fall from grace.



I am also very happy that L33t speak is not as prevalent. I couldn't stand it when it was in its heyday. I roamed various websites in the 90s looking for software to download, and couldn't stand the stuff myself.

That being said, there's still a specialized jargon in MMORPGs. Kae introduced some of it in her Tuesday Youtube (available from youtube.com/user/gamesmooc), but there's a lot more. Just watch the text chat in any of the major cities in the Trade channel in WoW. Frankly, that tends to be so laced with implied profanity and annoying chatter that I don't have it up any more. Getting into Orgrimmar for the first time and seeing things like "LF DPS run DM" can be intimidating. There was an interesting, if light-weight, article on yahoo about it here: http://voices.yahoo.com/lfg-run-dm-heal-dps-then-g2g-translation-6000742.html.

-LeeDale
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#6925257 Nov 01, 2012 at 03:29 PM
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111 Posts
#6924891 Leedale wrote:

Just watch the text chat in any of the major cities in the Trade channel in WoW. Frankly, that tends to be so laced with implied profanity and annoying chatter that I don't have it up any more.



Heh, you're not alone. I don't either. Trade is usually filled with so much stupidity it will quite literally induce a headache if I read it for too long. The funny thing is, it has kind of been hijacked as a general chat channel, which is stupid since there's ALREADY a "General" channel. One of the funniest quips I ever read in Trade was "gosh, I wish there was a channel designated for the trade of goods and services."

The "specialized jargon" can and does have its place, but that jargon by no means has to be profane, and people should be allowed to ask for clarification (which I have done several times.) "LF DPS run DM." Bleh. Even as a gamer I get a bit sick of the over-abbreviation. If I recall correctly, it stands for "Looking for a damage-based class to help us through the Deadmines." (DPS actually stands for Damage Per Second, but many modern gamers use the term (technically incorrectly) to refer to a class specialized in dealing damage.)
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
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#6926750 Nov 01, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
I found an interesting PhD paper (http://www.academic-conferences.org/pdfs/ecgbl2011_Mysirlaki_best_phd.pdf [LINKS TO PDF]) on the Internet that discusses some of what we're covering here. I thought I share it, along with some of my thoughts.

First, I want to give you a little bit of a backstory on me. Yes, I'm a gamer. Let me tell you a little secret, though: I'm not a social gamer. I'm not one of those people who's easy to catch in WoW doing raids with others (just ask poor Abacus or Kae...I'm sure they've given up on me!). I will help if asked, but it's hard to nail me down. Sue me, I simply like PvE or playing with my mom and sister (it's gotten us through some hard times!).

So, it's a little difficult sometimes for me to pull my experience into something like connectivism related to MMORPGs and Guilds.

However, this rather dry but interesting paper does a decent job of explaining what's going on when your "typical" gamer newbie (n00b) enters something like WoW. I was also interested in some of the resources she quoted within the paper. This paper was written in 2011, so some of it's fairly recent research.

Some of the connectivist tendencies the author mentions are:
"Just as in a real world community, when newcomers enter the game, they are gradually introduced to a complex social framework through the tutelage of other community member. They learn to make sense of new areas, especially by engaging with others, discussing, reflecting, and sharing."

She especially focuses on leadership in MMORPGs, especially how they relate to real-world usefulness:
"In search of leadership skills in MMMOGs, IBM conducted a study in a popular MMOG called World of Warcraft (WoW), taking into account the leadership behaviors described in Sloan Model (Reeves et al., 2007), in order to compare the leadership behavior in MMOGs and corporate environments. [The study] revealed that leaders in MMOGs have important leadership skills such as sensemaking, visioning, relating, and inventing. In general, good leaders have at least a minimal competence on all four capabilities, but no leaders are perfect on all dimensions.
This study revealed that leadership behaviors appear to be relevant in both gaming and corporate environments.
"

I thought this would be interesting for the more research oriented minds out there.
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#6932235 Nov 03, 2012 at 09:04 AM
Initiate
45 Posts
#6920015 Leedale wrote:


I, for example, tend to agree with the person who basically said that learning in WoW could be overestimated quite a lot. As always, we need to use the right tools and not just the cool tools because they're cool.



I agree entirely -- there is great danger in hearing something I'd love to hear. I desperately want to believe that the games I have loved all my life are in fact a magical alchemy that will swoop upon my students and carry them to heights of educational rapture.

I'm a technological cro-magnon, so old-style games are my weapon of mass instruction. I've had several successes in the classroom: using Sudoku to cure a lowest-level Maths class of their number phobia; introducing the concept of extrasolar planets using part of the classic role-playing game Traveller to generate imaginary solar systems; teaching basic Accounting using Monopoly -- each transaction was entered into a double-entry bookkeeping ledger.

I've also suffered some shameful disasters: one attempt at role-playing the Cuban Missile Crisis with Year 9 boys morphed into a phone "lerv" hookup between JFK and Nikita Kruschev. Apparently my face turned purple -- I remember little more than blowing my top and sentencing the miscreants to a week's hard labour. Several parent complaints formed my own, not-so-private hell.

What are the worst, and best, experiences you've had incorporating games into the classroom?
(Being "down under" doesn't make me backward)
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#6936185 Nov 04, 2012 at 09:20 AM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
I'm a technological cro-magnon, so old-style games are my weapon of mass instruction. I've had several successes in the classroom: using Sudoku to cure a lowest-level Maths class of their number phobia; introducing the concept of extrasolar planets using part of the classic role-playing game Traveller to generate imaginary solar systems; teaching basic Accounting using Monopoly -- each transaction was entered into a double-entry bookkeeping ledger.

There's nothing wrong at all with using old-style games. Like I said, whatever works best. The older games have been around much longer than their new digital counterparts, and they have some definite positive attributes. When my students (adult, community college students, mind you) are on the computer, there is always the tendency for them to focus more on whatever's going on with the computer than with others in the classroom. Sometimes that's fine, sometimes they need to redirect their focus. I certainly don't mind them going to Google to look up a term or search for a tutorial, but once in awhile things get out of hand.

I've also suffered some shameful disasters: one attempt at role-playing the Cuban Missile Crisis with Year 9 boys morphed into a phone "lerv" hookup between JFK and Nikita Kruschev. Apparently my face turned purple -- I remember little more than blowing my top and sentencing the miscreants to a week's hard labour. Several parent complaints formed my own, not-so-private hell.

That made me laugh so hard, but it was tempered with the full knowledge that it can happen to any of us. Students have a way of bringing things to life in ways that you never thought possible. At times, they can bring them to life in ways you wish weren't possible!

What are the worst, and best, experiences you've had incorporating games into the classroom
? [/quote_post6932235]

The closest I've had to this is when I brought a group of students into Second Life to discuss 3D modeling and to get them to demonstrate some of the principles. We landed in my rented land at the time, and one of my students (who was skilled with Second Life) managed to peek in the neighbor's house via remote viewing. I had not realized my neighbor had added, er, some art installations. Thankfully, we left to a museum (Primtings) directly thereafter so not much "damage" was taken.

Since then, I've been looking at using OpenSim instead, since I feel it has much less distraction involved. I've yet to find a hosting service that isn't very laggy, though. (Any suggestions?)

Bringing this discussion back full circle, I'd like to comment that some of the best successes I've had with virtual worlds and using online games in the classroom come when I have the support of fellow guildies in-world. For me, their support in-world and/or in-game have been invaluable.

-LeeDale
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#6940233 Nov 05, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Guides
561 Posts

[/quote_post6920015]

What are the worst, and best, experiences you've had incorporating games into the classroom? [/quote_post6932235]

Ha, well the worst was recent, tried "People Bingo" ( where you have created, and yest there is an Excel Temple, a bingo card of experiences like "owns a car, has a brother, plays WoW, eats broccoli ) in an adult community college class, as a good icebreaker. They simply got the cards filled as quickly as possible because they could leave when they turned in the card. Getting out of the classroom early, not socialization was their goal. This was a Cultural Anthropology class.

The best probably was a combination of learning about archetypes, and magic characters, giving them pre-constructed decks of Magic the Gathering cards, giving them a week to learn the deck and rules. Then having them play the game for a class period, those that knew how to play helped those that didn't, and you could see the sharing and passing of focal vocabulary as well as how oral tradition assists with progress in skills. I will probably do it again. This was in a Anthropology of Folklore class at a community college.
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#6948266 Nov 06, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Guild Officer
73 Posts
I haven't seen it, but it looks fascinating! Thanks for the suggestion.

#6917900 grasshopper98 wrote:

I think that guilds do require a certain level of involvement at certain times, so for a casual player, the guilds may be beyond their reach. I couldn't commit to 12 hours a week working in a chocolate factory and getting free chocolates, for example, due to my tight schedule. No one wants to not be participatory, and as Hawkye said it is harder to get PUG (pick up groups). You are so correct about availability, interest and skills. Some take gaming to further limits than others. I do show my Sociology class the film Second Skin Information on Second Skin Documentary Have you seen it? Harder to find it now, and the cost really went up. Has anyone else seen it?


#6912802 ThereseEllis wrote:

We all know the very fact that there are guilds suggests people value a participatory culture and benefit from networked knowledge construction. In the case of MMORPG's, the game mechanics dictate that groups of people organize for certain tasks. This common objective facilitates a culture where the group benefits from the progress of all of it's members. Guilds are community governed groups based primarily upon skill, interest, and availability. Awesome.

Games Based Learning Mooc (gamesMOOC)
FRCC Humanities Instructor
The best combination of technophile and luddite

Twitter @ThereseEllis
Google+ therese.catherine.ellis@gmail.com
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#6951658 Nov 07, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Guides
111 Posts
"What are the worst, and best, experiences you've had incorporating games into the classroom?"

Well, my experiences are exclusively as a student, but one of my best experiences was playing quiz games in class. It wasn't exactly high-tech but it was still more fun than just sitting there and listening. Everyone enjoyed being able to participate in something rather than just be passive learners.

As for worst experience...I don't particularly like going to the front of the class and writing on the board. I have problems writing freehand on a table, let alone a vertical surface. There's also a lot of pressure involved in doing something like that, since everyone's eyes are on you. I didn't like that, especially since I wasn't exactly popular back in grade school.
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
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