It's not unusual for video game players to speak of a routine that involves ordering pizza, getting a sugar jolt, and then playing "World of Warcraft" for hours.
But the person talking in this case is Constance Steinkuehler, an educational researcher who organized an afterschool group for boys to play, for educational purposes, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
Some of the eighth graders and high school freshmen who signed up for the group couldn't have cared less about writing or reading in school.
Yet those students have gone from barely stringing together two sentences to writing lengthy posts in their group's Web site forum, where they discuss detailed strategies for gearing up their virtual characters and figuring out tough quests.
"It has worked ridiculously well," Steinkuehler said. "It shouldn't be working as well as it is."
Sunday, October 5, 2008
More better living through "World of Warcraft"
"WoW": Is there anything it can't do?