Why Online Games Are Good For the Soul

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  • 1. Welcome to the Future… Why Virtual Worlds are Good for the Soul Lisa Galarneau BIL Ph.D. Candidate, Screen and Media Studies Monterey, Ca Research Director, Intrepid March 2008 E-mail: lisa@socialstudygames.com
  • 2. Spontaneous Communities of Learning
  • 3. Page 9
  • 4. What are online games/virtual worlds? Characteristics  Persistence  Freedom/open- ended  Characters/ avatars  Guilds/clans/ teams  Cooperative and competitive play  Economies/ virtual property (sometimes)
  • 5. Complex Social Systems
  • 6. Robust Economies
  • 7. Who the heck are these people?? ?
  • 8. Thriving on chaos, managing self, relating to others, language, symbols, text, multi-tasking, negotiation, networking, distributed cognition, performance, play, collective intelligence, etc.
  • 9. Comfort with diversity, participating/contributing, performance, negotiation, networking, etc.
  • 10. Managing information, thinking, participating/ contributing, using language, symbol and text, transmedia navigation, judgment, networking, negotiation, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, appropriation, etc.
  • 11. From the survey: player perceptions Big Improvements to RL skills:  Patience/helpful attitude  Communication/social skills  Team-work/cooperation  Sense of humor  Dealing with conflict  Self-control  Problem-solving/resourcefulness  Leadership/organization  Decision-making  Creative thinking  Language/literacy
  • 12. “I think working well with others and understanding each person’s role based on abilities is something that translates into any team environment.” “Having Asperger's Syndrome and a lack of positive social experiences in the past with which to build upon a stable foundation for communication I found that I benefited the most from the community and social interactions with them. They helped me refine my social and communication skills.” “Dealing with problem customers is like dealing with problem players. Keeping a cool head when someone gets upset usually leads to a better outcome. Having a good (and sometimes dark) sense of humor helps others feel less tense about situations and in the game(s) it helps people feel more welcome.” “Leadership . It has helped me to deal better with groups of people in the workplace that I supervised. Delegate, praise and train to do jobs necessary.” “Dealing with people from different areas, across age generations .” “I have learned that praise in a team environment is incredibly important.” “I used to be very shy around new people. I learned a lot about communication by helping others and organising online events.” “Working as a team has taught me more patience than I used to have.” “Being able to communicate without fear of ridicule really helped me learn to be more outspoken in real life.” “My wife passed away last year and I started playing as a way to help me socialize in a safe way . It's been wonderful for that but I think I'm almost ready to get back to the real world.” “Language. As I’m German, typing and talking English on a more regular base helped greatly :)”
  • 13. “My attitude in general has improved- I was a shocking communicator and non team player who thought I was good at communicating and working as part of a team. After an incident of having 54 people ignore you in a guild for unsatisfactory behavior I actually went and learnt how to communicate at a private learning institute, this made a massive difference to my life on all levels especially dealing with conflict-knowing when to walk away when to stay and communicating like an adult to try to create win-win situations.”
  • 14. Who believes?
  • 15. Vintage Images from Tales of Future Past: http://davidszondy.com