This chapter provides an overview of the potential of massively multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs) for foreign language education and discusses how MMORPGs can be better designed to support foreign language education. It reviews current conceptualizations on ideal language learning environments, discusses the potential of MMORPGs for foreign language education, and elaborates on how to design MMORPGs to facilitate foreign language learning. The authors hope that this discussion will help foreign language educators realize and capitalize on the values of MMORPGs in foreign language education, and will guide the design of MMORPGs for foreign language learning.
Towards Optimal Foreign Language Learning Environments
Decades of research in second/foreign language acquisition has yielded guidelines on what an ideal foreign language learning environment should be like. However, challenges abound in materializing these guidelines in current foreign language education contexts.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Virtual World: A computer-simulated world where people inhabit as avatars. It could be two dimensional or three dimensional, and people can interact with each other via text or real-time voice communication via VOIP.
Standalone Game: A game played without connecting to the Internet.
Institutional Server: The server that is dedicated to the use of educational institution. This server is different from a public server in that it has a strict user registration and management system, and is not open to players other than the approved users from the institution.
Immersion: The feeling of “being in the zone” or “the flow experience.” Refers to a status where the players are totally immersed in the game so that they forget about the real world around them.
Learning Management System: The system that manages user learning interventions with a comprehensive suite of functions including user records and reporting, collaborative learning modules, online assessment, provision of online learning, and so forth.
Interactive Object: One of the clickable objects or artifacts in the virtual world. They usually yield information or command upon clicking.
Instrumental Interaction: An interaction that happens solely for the reason of gaining points and advance in the game.
Open Narrative: Game narrative that invites the players to contribute to the game-play. The players are given the freedom to change the economic, social, physical, and political landscapes of the game.
Complete Chapter List
Richard E. Ferdig
Richard E. Ferdig
Aroutis N. Foster, Punya Mishra
Sara de Freitas, Mark Griffiths
Michael A. Evans
James Oliverio, Dennis Beck
Andreas Breiter, Castulus Kolo
Richard Van Eck
Shree Durga, Kurt Squire
Erik Malcolm Champion
Phillip J. VanFossen, Adam Friedman, Richard Hartshorne
Carol Luckhardt Redfield, Diane L. Gaither, Neil M. Redfield
Christopher L. James, Vivan H. Wright
Brian Ferry, Lisa Kervin
Zahide Yildirim, Eylem Kilic
Kathy Sanford, Leanna Madill
Richard T. Cole, Elizabeth Taylor Quilliam
Wei Peng, Ming Liu
Yong Zhao, Chun Lai
Ahmed BinSubaih, Steve Maddock, Daniela Romano
Barbara Martinson, Sauman Chu
Martha Garcia-Murillo, Ian MacInnes
Pollyana Notargiacomo Mustaro, Luciano Silva, Ismar Frango Silveira
Paul A. Fishwick, Yuna A. Park
Linda van Ryneveld
David William Shaffer
Melissa L. Lewis, René Weber
Joseph C. DiPietro, Erik W. Black
Matthew Thomas Payne
Katrin Becker, James R. Parker
Clint Bowers, Peter A. Smith, Jan Cannon-Bowers
Slava Kalyuga, Jan L. Plass
Nicholas Zap, Jillianne Code
Johannes Fromme, Benjamin Jörissen, Alexander Unger
P. G. Schrader, Kimberly A. Lawless, Michael McCreery
Yam San Chee, Kenneth Yang Teck Lim
Vasa Buraphadeja, Kara Dawson
Edward L. Swing, Douglas A. Gentile, Craig A. Anderson
Patrick Felicia, Ian Pitt
Diane Carr, Caroline Pelletier
Yi Mou, Wei Peng
David J. Leonard
Sasha A. Barab, Adam Ingram-Goble, Scott Warren
Wei Qiu, Yong Zhao
Laurie N. Taylor
James Belanich, Karin B. Orvis, Daniel B. Horn, Jennifer L. Solberg
Debbie Denise Reese
Yuxin Ma, Douglas Williams, Charles Richard, Louise Prejean
Wenhao David Huang, Tristan Johnson
Mahboubeh Asgari, David Kaufman
Scott J. Warren, Mary Jo Dondlinger
Panagiotis Zaharias, Anthony Papargyris
Douglas Williams, Yuxin Ma, Charles Richard, Louise Prejean
Lloyd P. Rieber, Joan M. Davis, Michael J. Matzko, Michael M. Grant
Leanna Madill, Kathy Sanford
Clark Aldrich, Joseph C. DiPietro
Göknur Kaplan Akilli
Chee Siang Ang, Panayiotis Zaphiris
Lisa Galarneau, Melanie Zibit
Nancy Sardone, Roberta Devlin-Scherer, Joseph Martinelli
Renee Hobbs, Jonelle Rowe
Kalle Jegers, Carlotte Wiberg
Katia Sycara, Paul Scerri, Anton Chechetka