Thursday, November 23, 2006

Passively Multiplayer Online Games for Schools?

Howard Rheingold just blogged about Justin Hall's presentation at the University of South California's Annenenberg centre.

Howard wrote:
"Justin has fun online, works online, studies and loves and plays online -- and on his phone and his Playstation. Why can't the whole thing be a game -- a social game and a knowledge game? While he goes about his day's surfing, blogging, chatting, tagging, gaming, posting, uploading, downloading, Justin wants to experience the same visible sense of goal-oriented progress he gets in World of Warcraft when he looks at his screens and sees exactly what level his activities have earned him."

He also mocked up a screenshot using Jaiku, which I am using here to illustrate this post.

He also posted a link to a video (Quicktime) in which Justin explains the concept.

This kind of concept would also be great for learning environments, allowing users to understand how much progress they have made in different areas of their work. It's easy to see how it could be added to an LMS system such as Moodle for instance. Only problem is, it's inherently quantitative (i.e. will measure time and/or number of contacts, posts, etc) but would be unable to deal with qualitative aspects.