eLearning, Community development, Technology, and Fun — all these impact and work together in changing the exciting landscape of online learning for the next generation. Often, I talk with organizational leaders who look puzzled when I start discussing the unification of these practices. Most take each of the areas above and put them in separate silos. At best, they merge one or two with another, but rarely will they see all four areas working together. In an article I recently read, it was evident that Rob Pardo and the team at Blizzard Entertainment understand this unifying idea.
With more than 6 million subscribers, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft (WoW) has hit on something more than just geeks and gaming. Pardo, himself is part of a subgroup (in WoW terms, a Guild) that communicates regularly outside the game.
“Outside the game we stay in touch using online forums, a wiki, blogs, and a mailing list – plus a group voice chat, which I have connected to my home stereo so I hear the guilds banter while I’m cooking dinner. I have never been this addicted to anything before,” says Pardo.
Keeping It Fun
According to Pardo, there are four basic draws to this online environment: the ability to socialize, an achievement system that gives users an incentive to improve, complex and satisfying strategy that makes playing fun, and an underlying narrative that users want to learn more about. Add to this the ability for the user to customize his/her experience and interface and you have a winning formula for retention and success.
According to Joi Ito, some call online gaming the new golf, but it is more than that…
“…it is millions of people with diverse backgrounds collaborating, socializing, and learning while having fun. It represents the future of real time collaborative teams and leadership in an always-on, diversity-intensive, real-time environment. World of Warcraft is a glimpse into our future.”
As evidenced in this environment, here is a case-study/incubator for NextGen learning paradigms. The disciplines of eLearning, Community development, and Technology under the umbrella of Fun are not separate functional areas. The fact is they all work together in tandem.
If you've received a Google Wave invite, perhaps you were overwhelmed and confused the first time you logged in like I was. Or maybe you've never even heard of Google Wave. Either way, I recently found...
On Saturday, December 5th, 2009 at 10 a.m. ET, the DARPA Network Challenge will launch, literally. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Internet, the DoD research agency is hosting a contest to see how social...
In a previous post, I asked the question: How can social network environments be used to support competency models that include attitudes and behaviors?
With the variety of social network environments...
Comment for NextGen eLearning And World Of Warcraft®