Bronwyn Stuckey on Virtual Worlds & Social Learning Contexts
Friend and colleague, Bronwyn Stuckey, is an invited guest blogger over at the 21st Century organization blog on this topic. Bron has a wealth of experience in this area with her work with Indiana University on Quest Atlantis, plus her doctoral research work on internet-mediated communities of practice.
Hop on over and take a read! It is engaging and covers some very salient points, very quickly.
Bronwyn talks in part about the differences between digital games and virtual environments and in the third post she gives Jim Gee's list of game features:
1. Empathy for a complex system
2. Simulations of experience and preparations for action
3. Distributed intelligence via the creation of smart tools
4. Cross-functional teamwork
5. Situated meaning
6. Open-endedness: melding the personal and the social
What seems to be missing from Gee's list, but maybe it is embedded in one of these features, is personal (and group) narrative, and multi-membership and identity (from Etienne Wenger's ideas in Learning for a small planet) that I think flows from the narrative.
I have watched videos by Joi Ito on Goggle about World of Warcraft, and have talked with one long term WoW player, and this certainly seems to be a feature of MMORPGs and MMOGs - and also seems to be from my short experience of Second Life. I am building up an identity there that has a relationship to, overlap with, my online identity - which also has it's own narrative and history that can be partially seen by Googling my RL name. My avatar in Second Life, Corwin Carillon, also appears to be developing a narrative of sorts that can be Googled.
So what is the role of narrative and identity in virtual worlds? How does it fit in to a learner's, or teacher's, or community's, learning and identity development?
What do you think?