Sunday, April 1, 2007

Virtual World & Education

Have you ever wondered of the educational values of the Virtual Worlds?

Think math. Micheal Field, an enthusiatic parent, used the World of Warcraft (WoW) to teach his two children about money management by offering them an in-game allowance for their real world activities such as doing homework or other household chores. This parent plays the game with his children and earns game currency as he plays the game. During the course of game play, his children come across things they would like to have for their avatars such as pets or a new weapon. He doesn’t tell them how to spend their in-game allowance but reminds them that if they spend it they will not be getting any more money until their normal allowance date. Also when it comes to helping in household chorus these children get rewards for WoW in game currency for
helping out.

Next Well’'s Fargo bank had also tapped into area to educate young financial responsibility. In the digital environment of SecondLife, Visitors there can skydive, fly hovercrafts, dance and shop. What Well Fargo offerred were deposit services and where players can save money and it would them earn daily interest - '“The idea, though, is to teach the players to save money--they earn 10 percent per day on "deposits"--and to learn new things about money management through a series of quizzes that, when completed, reward players with $5 of new funds.”'

Adapted from MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER ONLINE GAMES AND THEIR VIRTUAL ECONOMIES by Gnume

Virtual World Terms

Have you ever encountered scenarios where people talk about virtual worlds and you don't understand a word they are saying. Look no further, here are some common terms you can learn:
Avatar - A representation of the player that is used to interact in the game environment through controllers or a combination of keyboard commands and a mouse-driven interface. Communication occurs through a typed chat interface as well as animated expressions or gestures.

Bot - a subset of Farmer. A bot refers to using an automated script or computer program to
perform certain functions over and over without the need to a human to actually control the avatar.

Camp - To remain in the same physical location in the game world for an extended period of
time. Typically, this refers to waiting for a special or rare NPC to appear.

Farmer - A player who camps the same spawn repeatedly and for hours on-end for the express purpose of obtaining some game currency or item, denying others the opportunity.

MMO - Massive Multiplayer Online game

NPC - Non-Player Character. These are characters or monsters within the game world that are controlled by the game.

Petition - A method to request in-game assistance from a customer service representative.

Player Character - This is the game character controlled by the person playing the game. See also Avatar.

Spawn - Appearing of NPCs or game resource in a location within the game.

Subscribers - Registered game players.

Adapted from MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER ONLINE GAMES AND THEIR VIRTUAL ECONOMIES by Gnume