Games and Learning/Topics/Play/MMOG

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A massively multiplayer online game (also called MMO) is a multiplayer video game which is capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played on the Internet, and feature at least one persistent world. They are, however, not necessarily games played on personal computers. Most of the newer game consoles, including the PSP, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DSi and Wii can access the Internet and may therefore run MMO games. Additionally, mobile devices and smartphones based on such operating systems as Windows Mobile and Google's Android, as well as the Apple iPhone are seeing an increase in the amount of MMO games available.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) is a genre of computer role-playing games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world.

As in all RPGs, players assume the role of a character (often in a fantasy world) and take control over many of that character's actions. MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player RPGs by the number of players, and by the game's persistent world, usually hosted by the game's publisher, which continues to exist and evolve while the player is away from the game. This is often referred to as being offline. MMORPGs are played throughout the world. Worldwide revenues for MMORPGs exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005, and Western revenues exceeded US$1 billion in 2006. In 2008, Western consumer spending on subscription MMOGs grew to $1.4 billion. World of Warcraft, a popular MMORPG, had over 11.5 million subscribers as of December, 2008.


Four years have passed since the aftermath of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and a great tension now smolders throughout the ravaged world of Azeroth. As the battle-worn races begin to rebuild their shattered kingdoms, new threats, both ancient and ominous, arise to plague the world once again.

World of Warcraft is an online role-playing experience set in the award-winning Warcraft universe. Players assume the roles of Warcraft heroes as they explore, adventure, and quest across a vast world. World of Warcraft is a "Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game" which allows thousands of players to interact within the same world. Whether adventuring together or fighting against each other in epic battles, players will form friendships, forge alliances, and compete with enemies for power and glory"

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Steinkuehler, C. A. (2008), Cognition and literacy in massively multiplayer online games 'Handbook of Research on New Literacies', Erlbaum, Mahwah NJ , pp. 1-38.

Delwiche, A. (2006), 'Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) in the new media classroom', Educational Technology & Society 9 (3), 160-172.

Recent research demonstrates that videogames enhance literacy, attention, reaction time, and higher-level thinking. Several scholars have suggested that massively multiplayer online games MMOs such as Everquest and Second Life have educational potential, but we have little data about what happens when such tools are introduced in the classroom. This paper reports findings from two MMO-based courses in the context of situated learning theory. The first course, focused on the ethnography of on-line games, used the game Everquest as a vehicle for teaching research methods to 36 students in an undergraduate communication course. The second course used the game Second Life to teach the fundamentals of videogame design and criticism. Synthesizing comments from student web logs with data collected from followup surveys, the paper highlights key findings and offers concrete suggestions for instructors contemplating the use of multiplayer games in their own courses. Recommending that potential virtual environments be selected on the basis of genre, accessibility, and extensibility, it is suggested that game-based assignments are most effective when they build bridges between the domain of the game world and an overlapping domain of professional practice.