World of Warcraft Good at Teaching Life Skills
7:32 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story
A recent article in Wired Magazine describes how Stephen Gillett, a man applying for a job at Yahoo!, received special attention due to his gaming skills. How could gaming possibly interest a business? He was one of the top guild masters in the online role-playing game World of Warcraft.
Gaming tends to be regarded as a harmless diversion at best, a vile corruptor of youth at worst. But the usual critiques fail to recognize its potential for experiential learning. Unlike education acquired through textbooks, lectures, and classroom instruction, what takes place in massively multiplayer online games is what we call accidental learning. It's learning to be - a natural byproduct of adjusting to a new culture - as opposed to learning about. Where traditional learning is based on the execution of carefully graded challenges, accidental learning relies on failure. Virtual environments are safe platforms for trial and error. The chance of failure is high, but the cost is low and the lessons learned are immediate.Gillett has accepted Yahoo!'s offer and now works there as senior director of engineering operations.
Wired: You Play World of Warcraft? You're Hired!
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