Professor Wim Veen of the Delft University of Technology said World of Warcraft is helping teens multi-task, communicate, and that the education of the current generation is learned through images, not text.
Today’s teenagers interact with each other not just face-to-face or over the phone, but also through mobile text, instant messaging, games such as World of Warcraft (which has 8.5 million players), virtual environments such as Second Life or online communities such as 43 Things.
“One of my sons recently attended a funeral, online, for someone he had never met, but who was a member of his guild in World of Warcraft and who had died in real life” Prof. Veen relates.
“When we see young people glued to a screen, we worry that they are not communicating, but in fact there has never been a generation that communicates so much”
So what does all this mean for schooling? According to Prof. Veen; “Kids who have grown up with technology are a force for change in education. They are using technology in multiple ways and have learnt to be in control of information and in control of the learning process”
He says educationalists should not make the mistake of thinking that digital environments do not stimulate learning: “World of Warcraft is all about strategy and problem-solving, like chess or Monopoly before it. What you see on the screen is not important-it is what is underneath”