Category Archives: 21st century skills

World Of Warcraft as an educational tool may not be a good idea

World of Warcraft Logo

World of Warcraft Logo

A recent Time magazine article (June 2009) states that the future generation of workers can hone its knowledge of culture and teamwork skills by continuing to play World Of Warcraft…

But is this really the best thing for kids?

Haven’t heard of WOW yet? Here’s a link to a video trailer about World of Warcraft to show you.

WOW is a massively multi-player online gaming environment which Blizzard, who produces it, claims to be 10 million users strong. At about $15 a month to play, you do the math…that’s WOW indeed!

In WOW, players work in teams to complete quests and the game measures each team member’s contribution to the team. The one that contributes most get’s to be (or stay) the leader, and other rewards follow proportional to the team member’s level of contribution.

Yep, sounds like the job of the future alright — collaborate and problem solve with others from around the world, and get rewarded for your hard work. Nice.

But do a quick Google Search for World of Warcraft Addict* and you’ll see some alarming items. Divorce over gaming, a WOW detox center, and  parents suing Blizzard for addiction. A youth organization condemns WOW, calls WOW the “crack cocaine of the computer world”.

YouTube sports several videos on the topic — among the serious ones is the one below called World of Warcraft game addiction documentary – Game OVERdose

Is this really the best way for kids to learn teamwork, cooperation, and cultural differences? I’d think more than twice about choosing such environments as tools for learning. I’m thinking there are lots of less controversial ways that can still be meaningful and useful to our youth.

Maybe that should be the next Time magazine article…

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Filed under 21st century skills, educational gaming, educational technology, Uncategorized, World of Warcraft addiction