Boy (he does not ever want his real name used on the internet) loves internet games. His favorite is World of Warcraft. Skeptical at first, partner and I spent considerable time researching and evaluating the educational resource value of it. Happy that it provided a degree of learning and internet skills to an already socially impaired child, we bought it, and a lap top for Boy.
Eager to instill self-performance evaluation, I have asked Boy to tell us all what is educational about playing World of Warcraft and what he has learnt. This is his analysis in his own words:
- It’s got math and reading and spelling in it. I write words and when I don’t know a word I ask you. (Note from Boy’s Mum: HUGE leaning has happened here.)
- I learn tactics. I level up after I’ve learnt good tactics.
- I have friends that I play with. I like meeting and battling with them. Some of them I know from school. I can meet up with real people in World of Warcraft. When I see them in real life, we talk about leveling.
- I have to be patient when the patches are downloading. I go and play a different game then. (Note from Boy’s Mum: For a child with Asperger’s, developing patience is HUGE learning.)
Canvassing our friends, I was amazed to discover that far more Mums than Dads play World of Warcraft. Their reasons for playing were similar to our concerns about child safety and educational resource value. The Mums appear to have been proactive in actually trialing the game with their kids, became hooked themselves, and now battle on in-between school, work, caring, and housework. Good for them! I know they are also looking out for Boy.
We have had two difficulties with dubious players. Sorry guys. You picked the wrong Mum to pull that stuff on. Congratulations to World of Warcraft for being on it immediately.
World of Warcraft is here to stay and will be an educational resource for our home schooling curriculum and a social skill trainer for our child with Asperger's.
A few external reviews on World of Warcraft:
World of Warcraft - Do You Know What PvP is?
Gamespot World of Warcraft review.
Blizzard of GLBT gaming policy questions.
What sort of internet games do you use as an educational resource?