Learning Reflection and Creativity in Online Game Communities
Tunç D. Medeni (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan), Mark Elwell (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan), Steven A. Cook (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan) and Euler G.M. de Souza (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan)
Copyright: © 2008
It is increasingly being recognized that participation in role-playing gaming communities contributes to the learning of their members. Within the field of educational research, there is a wide spreading interest in online communities and virtual worlds: Online technologies provide new opportunities for “anytime/anywhere” social interaction and the number of innovative curricular designs that incorporate online collaborative environments has been steadily increasing since such technology first emerged. As Lave and Wenger (1991) argue, understanding the learning in naturally occurring contexts, and not just formal ones, is crucial if we are to forward learning and educational theory and practice beyond the contexts we ourselves contrive. “We ought to investigate more naturally occurring, self-sustaining indigenous virtual cultures so that our theory might be a more accurate reflection of them and our practice a better reflection on them in days to come.” (Galarneau, 2004; Steinkuehler, 2005 p. 80-81)
Key Terms in this Chapter
Online Community: A community whose members conduct its communications and activities over a computer network.
Virtual Reflection: Simulative or stimulative projection of real world on a virtual parallel, mirror world in order to experience or experiment with something not possible or appropriate in real life for insight, learning and development.
Knowledge Creation: Application of skills such as reflection and creativity that improves learning outcomes.
Role-playing Game: An activity in which each participant creates, is represented by, and chooses actions for a character in a fictional narrative, the results of which are determined according to rules, and in which much of the focus is on interaction among player-characters.
Woldian Games: A free, open online role-playing game community that uses web pages and e-mail for its communications and activities.
Reflection: Individual or collaborative elaboration and articulation of ideas, information, knowledge, and feelings for a practical, esthetic, or social purpose, with both expected and unexpected outcomes.
Neverwinter Nights: A commercial role-playing computer game that can be customized by users and played online, fostering creation of virtual communities.
Creativity: The ability and practice of conceiving new content or method of value in advancing or achieving practical or esthetic goals.
Virtual: Utilizing computer and network technology to facilitate and conduct the imaginative activities that comprise an integral part of human life.