The devils made me do it gls
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Games+Learning+Society 2010, presentation on using World of Warcraft to teach internet governance in a law school class.

Games+Learning+Society 2010, presentation on using World of Warcraft to teach internet governance in a law school class.

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  • 1. <The Devils Made Me Do It>
    a law school experiment
    in online community governance
    John Carter McKnight
    Adjunct Professor of Law
    PhD Student,
    Human & Social Dimensions of Science & TechnologyArizona State University
  • 2.
  • 3. LAW 791/EDT 791: governance of virtual worlds
    27 students:
    17 second/third year law students
    7 Masters students: educational technology, public administration, English
    3 Honors College undergraduates
    40+ year age range
    vast range of gaming experience
    all white, middle-class, moderate
  • 4. course frameowork
    3 credit graduate course
    cross-listed in Law and Education Technology – first collaboration!
    multi-disciplinary readings
    law, economics, anthropology, political science
    journal articles, books, blogs, news reports
    grading
    participation (summed across media)
    weekly forum questions on readings
    WoW guild project blogging
    term project: presentation + documentation
  • 5. Why Virtual Worlds Governance?
    a *model* - government processes in miniature
    a *site* - a thing governed by custom and code – both legal and software
    an *inspiration* - can the experience of online self-governance translate to RL?
  • 6. the project
    create a guild in World of Warcraft
    create governance systems for it:
    citizenship
    taxation
    dispute resolution
    accountability
    task management
    banking and finance
    play, blog, discuss
  • 7. project goals
    experiential learning – James Paul Gee
    participatory democracy
    vs. collaborative democracy
    – Beth Simone Noveck
    2D and 3D collaborative tool use
  • 8. tools
    in-class meeting time
    last ½ hour of 3 hour session
    in-game chat
    guild, officer, general channels
    course Ning site
    (in lieu of Blackboard)
    discussion threads,
    personal blogs
    Google Docs (for charter drafting)
  • 9. what happened?
    very slow start
    need more “how” orientation + more “why” orientation
    no structured goals with clear class application
    gap between veterans and n00bs
    “this is how we always do it” vs “why are we here?”
    ideological/temperamental splits
    fear of committing time
    (law students more than grad students!)
  • 10. deliberation vs. collaboration
    Deliberation
    Ning group and in-class discussions
    Google Docs as collaborative preparatory space
    Collaboration
    “the noob dance” – expert/new player partnering, spend and hour together and blog about it
    3D environment as action space
  • 11. deliberation vs. collaboration
    unresolved discussions in Ning/Google Docs
    rush to action in class time
    appointment of guild manager with unlimited powers
    pushed by banking/citizenship issues
  • 12. “we need peons!”
    guild coalesced around in-class goal: make the largest guild
    introducing strangers = introducing governance
    class united as officer corps
    class time now management meeting, not bickering/rush to decisions
  • 13. experiential learning FTW
    Is a hands-on exposure to virtual governance worthwhile?
    I think many of my class members will go on to help create and implement the laws and rules for virtual governance. I am glad to know that they have at least played the games that they will govern.
    Many issues in law do not need to be experienced to be fully understood, because those issue exist in a world that is familiar to us. But in a virtual world, which differ from world to world, and certainly do from the real world, the issues are not so clear. Therefore, a hands-on exposure is not only worthwhile, it is necessary.
  • 14. more immersion, plz
    I feel that it could have been very beneficial to have classes that were completely run in world without us meeting in the actual classroom.
    I was not a big fan of having real-world discussions that affected our virtual organization. Our real-world guild discussions seemed very hostile to me and because there was no process or agenda, I just felt they were all disorganized and not particularly productive.
  • 15. speaking = death
    I'm not sure I really connected with WoW as a platform. I feel like the guild structure is rigid, and it limited where we could go as far as how we created our governance.
    Also, you can't take a break from killing a boar to respond to what everyone is saying in guild chat without dying.
  • 16. too much is given
    WoW was a very closed and tight circle; a place for everything, and everything in its place.
    I don't think this reflects all (or even most of) the possible challenges of governance that we will face in the future. While there may be questions of governance of groups, resource allocation, and the like, all are still occurring within a perfectly controlled and designed space.
    To me, governance is the practice of power manipulation in a space where the limits are not known and nothing is ultimately protected or guaranteed.
  • 17. level the playing field
    Second Life doesn't require leveling up to play, and so everyone is equal.
    Also what I liked about using Second Life is that this was unfamiliar to a lot of people. So I wander how different the governance issues would be in a world where everyone started at the same point. I know in WoW, I witnessed the experienced players were so used to the WoW platform; it was hard for them to deviate from the norm, and not only that, Blizzard does not really allow you to deviate that much either.
  • 18. UGC generates real issues
    It seemed as if many of the cases brought up in class, and things like copyright and jurisdiction, pertained more to a user-generated-content environment than something like WoW.
  • 19. summing up
    Split between veteran WoW players/gamers and the rest of the class
    Non-gamers saw more shortcomings in the platform
    Veterans didn’t feel governance issues at the noob level were meaningful
  • 20. summing up
    (Relative) Ease of learning WoW a plus
    Many put off by SL’s difficulty to learn and lack of structure
    Class split on SL: might favor it with highly structured course goals
    More immersion, end RL as a medium for negotiating inworld issues
  • 21. next time?
    Craft a quality experience in SL – a “LOST” style roleplay, maybe?
    Split gamers and nongamers?
    Meet twice a week, once RL, once in a VW
    Actively recruit from a wider range of disciplines
  • 22. Lok’tar! For The Horde!
  • 23. contact
    John Carter McKnight, MIA, JD
    john.mcknight@asu.edu
    johncartermcknight.com
    Blog, CV, presentations
    + Twitter, Facebook, last.fm
    LinkedIn, Goodreads, etc.
    WoW: Kaseido, Misha-US,
    <Future Tense>