I came across this book entitled Effective electronic gaming in education by Richard E. Ferdig.
I have not had the chance to read it yet, I hope to do so when the time is right.
Why is this book of interest to me?
Firstly I love culture and I like teaching which to me means sharing knowledge. Sharing culture can only be done through language and I feel that that is the main reason why I love languages. Through hard work, language gives me the possibility of accessing another world and being a part of it. Secondly I like this book so far (I have read the introduction only) because it is centred around gaming. I love games, I was such a loyal gamer that I played World of Warcraft regularly, had a human mage, elf rogue, and dwarf hunter all to level 60 as well as other characters. I had serious objectives that I needed to attain and alternated between French and British realms. I learned to play WoW and picked up the vocabulary surrounding the MMORPG in French and English. I am fluent in WoW. I also managed to pick up a rare purple sabertooth mount after lots of work and no help from bots. These feats may not seem like much but I played WoW the day it came out in France and a year later I had several level 60s and then I stopped. This experience revealed quite a few things I did not know about myself:
- I don’t lack dedication but sometimes I cross over to the other side and become a techno hermit. I have learnt to manage this particular behaviour. My biggest accomplishment was stopping my addiction in 2005 and replacing game work with home work.
- When immersed in something I love, I learn everything about the immediate environment. I was a regular on WoW fora looking for tips on how to %*$ and carried out extensive research on the professions to choose and the skills sets I needed to nurture. For example, elves by nature can become invisible, it seemed logical at times to train as a rogue, stealth being an asset and then pick up leather working or poison-making as a profession. Leather working because rogues could only wear leather and anyway rogues are fast killers and so on.
So imagine if I had played a game like WoW that was just as fun and picked up a language that was useful in the real world, sky’s the limit. I must say that in WoW you do manage money, work in teams, sometimes you become Guild leaders and sometimes you become the fairy Godmother, I was more the latter than the former. I used to hang around low level instances (level 10 to 20) as a level 40 mage helping friends and strangers complete their quests which is what I loved doing the most. So one could say I am a not-for-profit oriented mage. Therefore, there is no shortage of real world skills within the world of WoW and leadership is an important part of WoW when going through instances and killing your xxxx millioneth Orc.
All this to say that true MMORPG style games as a language learning tool would be a Godsend to visual learners and language aficionados.