So, my previous post is about how swamped I am with schoolwork, and it’s true. I really am swamped. I’m taking two classes, writing conference proposals, designing a pilot study for research, playing World of Warcraft, planning a conference, writing a grant proposal, and….
Did I mention I’m playing World of Warcraft? Yeah, well, no one is more surprised than I am…
Believe it or not, it’s one of my assignments for my eLearning Environments class. Instead of a textbook, we were instructed to buy a copy of WoW. In addition to our course readings and traditional assignments, we are to play WoW until we reach level 20 and keep a journal on our thoughts about virtual environments as learning platforms.
Now, what you have to understand is that I have spent years, years, railing against online games and the power they have to suck the life and drive out of otherwise normal people. In so many ways, healthy, normal human ambition and desire for accomplishment gets channeled into these games and, rather than finishing degrees or curing cancer or even walking the dog, people will spend countless hours leveling and farming a character. And when I say that I have railed against them, you can be assured that I don’t mean a little hesitant disapproval. If you need proof, you can ask my dear sweet Tony…..a consummate gamer from way-back-in-the-day (as my students like to say).
When Tony heard about my assignment, he laughed out loud. Yes, right in my face! And then he ran to log into his game, and proceeded to tell all his buddies over the Ventrilo server that his wife was now required to play WoW.
But here’s the kicker: The larger part of my brain is screaming in frustration: “We don’t have time to play a game! Can’t we just read an article about game playing? There’s too much to do! Online games are just a brain-sink….”
But in the back of my brain, there’s the tiniest little voice that says, “Hey, if I finish this literature review, maybe I’ll have time to do a quest or two and bring my level up before bed…“
Big Voice: “No, I don’t have time to cook dinner tonight! Can’t you see I’m up to my eyeballs in journal articles to get through?”
little voice: “Okay, I’ve read so many journal articles they don’t make sense anymore. Guess I should play some WoW…”
Big Voice: “Tony, you’ll never understand how hard I’m working! Please don’t ask me to do one more thing!”
little voice: “Tony, would you come on this quest with me? I’m just a squishy little mage, and I sure could use a big strong paladin to be my tank on the Mulock Bounty Hunting quest…pleeeeze Sweetie?
Hello, my name is LarcMertel, and I’m a Murloc hunter…..