WoW Expansion Expanding Use of Media

The WoW expansion, released Nov 13, incorporates more cinematics than seen in this game before, in addition to implementing a “build your Garrison” idea that enables the user to use some creative problem solving and strategizing. The cinematics help tell the story and creates a more engaging feel.  As bandwidth is increasing, perhaps a blend of moviemaking, video game playing and sandbox building will begin to mesh more.   So, how does this relate to education?  For one, the technology used could be a more effective way to teach by immersing students  into an environment, incorporating video/machinima and providing problems for students to solve.

A screenshot of a video in the WoW, provides that "up-close, you are there" feeling.

A screenshot of a video in the WoW, provides that “up-close, you are there” feeling.

Video is the next best thing to being there and of course teachers generally use film/video to help teach concepts, but the mix of the two was what is so compelling.  As the character moves about and completes quests a cinematic pops up to help explain, to move the narrative forward, to immerse the player.  If we replace the word “player” with student, this blend of media has the potential to engage a student to the point where there is an emotional connection with a literary or historical character and events as well as with scientific and mathematical concepts.  The Metagame Book Club is currently involved in reading Rise of The Horde and The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell  playing the expansion while reading this book certainly adds an element that increases understanding of the narrative as well as the concepts of the hero’s journey.  On the creative side, students creating cinematics with the use of a game engine or virtual word (machinima) can either document understanding of whatever concepts are being learned, as well as developing their own extensions to the learning.


In the WoW expansion, Players need to make choices that will impact outcomes.

The second feature that is prominent in this WoW expansion, is the building of a “personal” garrison.  I got the feeling of the “wild” west.  Here I was (my toon)  in a dangerous wilderness, with few resources, needing to make friends to build a garrison and survive.  Decisions need to be made and problems need to be solved.  Using this expansion, as is, and simply discussing parallels with various historical exploration periods would likely be an engaging way to teach the subject, rather than the lecture style of the 1900s.

As we continue to see the development of games and immersive environments the potential for impacting the way we teach and learn is obvious.



My EduBlogger Picks for 2013

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I find the Edublog site a valid and reliable source for good educational links in a variety of categories. I am honored to have been nominated in the past and  continue to support the site by spreading the news, I … Continue reading


EduMachinima Fest for Teachers and Students

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The annual SIGVE EduMachinima Fest is unique in that it is for both students and teachers.  Those who enter their work will have the opportunity to create and share their manipulation of images, sounds, music and words effectively to convey … Continue reading


ISTE 2012, SIGVE, Machinima and More

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The ISTE 2012 Conference in San Diego is about to start and  SIGVE, along with all the other SIGs (special interest groups) are gearing up to interact, share and possibly join forces on behalf of teaching and learning.  An annual physical … Continue reading


Firewall to Learning or Shield of Liabilitly

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The Internet is vast, diverse, and can be dangerous just like our physical world.  Helping our youth by imparting information regarding the world and how to deal with it goes back to the beginning of time, I am sure that … Continue reading


Develop an Alternate Reality Game or Make Machinima

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The VWBPE MOOC  (Massive Open Online Course) has spawned some OOCs.  The first one is an Open Online Course on developing Alternative Reality Games (ARGs) and the second is on creating  Machinima.  Again,  you may choose to participate actively or perhaps … Continue reading